These changes were announced as part of the airline’s plan to ensure the sustainability of the company. In addition, 2,800 jobs will be cut in 2014. “We don’t really need them any more since we have a really large fleet of passenger aircraft,” Jean-Claude Raynaud, spokesman for Air France, says of the freighters.
The 747-400s will be phased out gradually until the beginning of 2016, leaving Air France with two B777 freighters and a large fleet of B777ER passenger aircraft.
“These passenger aircraft offer us enough capacity in the belly-holds to satisfy our cargo demands,” Raynaud says. “The cargo market is not as good as it used to be before, so the need, the demand, for additional capacity is not there.”
Air France is also phasing out older aircraft in order to make room for new aircraft that will arrive on the market in 2016, he says.
“This is just a natural process that all airlines do, not only Air France,” Raynaud says.
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