The Air France-KLM holding company said its subsidiaries are making serious efforts to improve cargo service despite the recent announcement that Air France and KLM will phase out their four Boeing 747 all-cargo planes by 2015 as part of a year-old cost-cutting effort to stabilize finances.
Air France and KLM are adding 30 weekly passenger flights out of Paris and Amsterdam that will offer extra belly space for cargo and are transitioning to more modern, fuel-efficient planes over the next few years, the parent company said.
The airlines, including sister freighter operator Martinair, are adding a controlled-temperature service for pharmaceutical shippers. Recent upgrades include an iPhone app and e-claim tool.
The corporation is investing more than 100 million euros to achieve its goal of 100 percent paperless cargo operations and carrying out 70 percent of business-to-business transactions electronically by 2018.
The new strategy is to consolidate freighter operations for the group within Martinair, with Air France and KLM carrying cargo in the belly holds of passenger planes.
"Keeping our main deck capacity is necessary for a complete offer to customers. Our new fleet investment will help to optimize productivity and overall capacity in line with market demand. It will also give us a more flexible capacity-mix," Executive Vice President Erik Variwijk said in a statement last week. "We can change aircraft types to cater for specific loads, and make short-term network adjustments at the request of customers for the sequence of stops on rotations, day of operation, timing and other requirements."