Air France rejects CDG fleet speculation

AIR FRANCE CARGO  has rejected a US report suggesting that the carrier may shed its freighter fleet based at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport.
A cargo spokesman for the French flag airline said that the report in the business press, citing Air France’s chief executive Alexandre de Juniac, was “not accurate enough, strictly speaking” when stating that a decision could be announced on whether the Franco-Dutch airline will shed all its dedicated cargo aircraft.
The US story added that “Air France-KLM will retain cargo carrying capacity, using space on its passenger airplanes”, a reference to the passenger and cargo alliance between the French carrier and the Dutch airlines KLM and Martinair.
A decision on the freighter fleet operated by KLM and Martinair, based at Amsterdam-Schiphol, is still subject to an internal study which will report at the end of July.
A spokesman for the cargo arm of Air France said: “Concerning the AF Cargo fleet based in CDG, if it is true that our two last B747-400 ERFs will effectively leave our fleet during the summer of 2015; but we shall keep our two B777Fs, since they fill well and correspond well to our cargo needs.
“So, two full freighters, the B777Fs, will indeed be kept at AF Cargo CDG.”
Turning to the KLM-Martinair cargo freighter fleet at Amsterdam-Schiphol, the Air France spokesman said that it has been “clearly indicated” that one B747-400 ERF and one MD-11F would be removed by the summer of 2015, reducing the number of full freighters based at AMS from 10 to eight.
He added: “However, since April 2014 a new global re-evaluation of our full freighter needs in AMS is under deep study and consideration”.
The study will take into account the state of the international cargo market, the structural overcapacity due to the large number of “belly-cargo friendly” passenger aircraft in the market, and the cost of operating full freighters compared to passenger aircraft.
The Air France spokesman cautioned against any speculative pre-judging of the study’s conclusions on the Schiphol fleet complement, ahead of the official announcement.

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