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Air France targets new routes as PH operations wind down



The wind down of Port Harcourt (PH) operations notwithstanding, Air France is targeting some new routes in the United States in response to interests of Nigerian customers.

General Manager Air France-KLM in Nigeria and Ghana, Michel Colleau, said the moves were part of efforts to further consolidate operations of the airlines.

Colleau, at the customers’ appreciation night recently held in Lagos, said the performance in 2018 was good in terms of passengers and cargo ferried from Nigeria.

The airlines recorded a lot more passengers in double digit growth “because the economic situation in Nigeria was a lot better than it was in previous year.”

However, Air France could not operate the whole network in 2018 and it would be the same in 2019.

“There is a gap we cannot close and some destinations have been suspended from the summer of 2019, and Port Harcourt is one of them. We are still going to keep an office and representatives at Port Harcourt, trying to convince our customers to fly via Lagos or Abuja.” The last flight from Port Harcourt has been scheduled for March 31.

Colleau added that Air France-KLM has continued to refurbish its fleet to offer its customers some of the best travel experiences.

“We have completely refurbished the Airbus 330 fleet. We have now the new business class product everyday on the KLM A330 flying to Amsterdam, Holland. Air France is a bit late, but we are in April introducing a completely refurbished A330 with completely new business class, premium economy, economy class, new seats and completely connected. The flight will be daily for our customers. That is how we are consolidating our strength.

“We have also revamped our loyalty programme, with more opportunities for customers to redeem and accumulate more miles. It is very effective and probably in the best offered by European carrier.

“Based on the interests of the Nigerian customers, we are opening new destinations in 2019. We will operate to Las Vegas and daily to Boston. We have got more to come because we will partner with Delta Airlines in much better way that will offer lots of opportunities for Nigerian customers. The U.S. is one of the biggest; we can connect to 256 cities in the U.S. together with Delta, Air France and KLM,” he said.

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Air FranceMichel Colleau
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