Air France competition causes ire of small overseas airlines

Air Caraïbes and Corsair criticize the national company for having largely increased its offer towards overseas, causing a sharp drop in prices.


The overseas war is declared! Air Caribbean and Corsair are standing against Air France. They criticize the national airline for giving them frantic competition on what they call their “pre-square”, their “vital space”, that is to say the destinations of overseas, mainly the Antilles, Reunion and Guyana. A hives push which owes its origin to the sharp increase in Air France capacities on the lines towards this area. A rise in power to compensate for the large number of long-haul lines still closed for health reasons.

of its own admission, Air France, for example, increased its offer to Reunion by 50 %, with three daily flights instead of two previously, including one from Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport. “These are enormous capacities, an overoff,” worried in a same Air Caribbean and Corsair voice. In a letter sent about two weeks ago to the Ministers of Economy, Transport and Overseas, as well as at the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), the two small companies quantified the “Massive redeployment of Air France capacities on roads” towards overseas. According to their calculations, Air France’s effort “represents more than 710,000 overcapacity seats compared to a pre-Cavid year, the equivalent of three daily big-door”.

An offensive without common measure with the means of the two small rivals. “This forces us to reduce our capacities. We cannot operate as many thefts as we would have liked to do so,” said Marc Rochet, Managing Director of Air Caraïbes. The two companies believe that “this strategy [is] partly funded by the use of state aid received by Air France during the crisis”. Since 2020, France and the Netherlands have been more than generous to save Air France-KLM from bankruptcy, with a total of 16.65 billion euros paid in the form of direct loan, bank loans guaranteed by the State or capital increase.

in pain on freight

For its defense, Air France only wants to see it as a simple commercial competition. Overseas was one of the “most resilient areas throughout the crisis, successively with the resumption of affinity traffic and that of leisure traffic […].” Refuge “destinations when many travel restrictions Limited international trips, “she assures the world. According to the Company, it is only “to respond to this request that Air France, like its competitors, has gradually increased its supply, redeploying devices on these roads usually serving other destinations, and in particular Asia”. These explanations do not satisfy Pascal de Izaguirre, CEO of Corsair.

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/Media reports.