Air France KLM looking to China
Air France KLM offers its flight attendants a three-day training course on China every month and equips each of its 16,000-member cabin crew with a booklet full of tips on Chinese culture and phrases.
The course and booklet are part of Air France KLM’s Focus China program, launched at end of last year, which the company hopes will help it make inroads into the Chinese aviation market.
“We want to become Chinese people’s favorite European airline,” said Frank Legre, general manager of Air France KLM for Greater China.
The Franco-Dutch carrier is seeing a rising number of Chinese passengers not only on its flights between Europe and China, but also on routes to Africa and South America.
An Air France KLM ground staffer greets Chinese passengers at Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Paris. Company photo
Legre said the French Embassy in Beijing used to be the airline’s largest corporate customer in China. Now it’s Huawei Technologies, China’s leading telecommunications equipment manufacturer.
“Not all of our cabin crew will have a chance to fly to China,” said Legre, “but isn’t it great for a Chinese passenger to be greeted with Ni Hao in Chinese on our flight to Bogota?”
The carrier plans to cut its operating capacity by 2 percent beginning this summer due to falling demand but said it will not adjust its flights to China.