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The Communication Strategy of Air France

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  1. Introduction
  2. Corporate communication
    1. Air France is committed to being a quality company in customer services
    2. A reworked image
    3. Communication Ki and airfrance
  3. Business Communication
    1. Air France places clients at the heart of its strategy
    2. Air France has shown a willingness to innovate commercially
    3. The introduction of American Express Air France-cards
    4. Air France BETC's campaign on Air France
  4. Investor Relations
    1. The transparency of Air France
    2. An effective strategy of consolidation
    3. The code-sharing agreements which offer more destinations and flights
  5. Recruitment Communication
    1. Cadets of Air France
  6. Sponsorship and Patronage
    1. Air France Foundation
    2. Group Development
    3. Aviation Without Borders
    4. Air France and INSERM
    5. Patron of cardiac surgery
    6. AFComNet : Intranet Air France
    7. E-learning: A solution for Air France
  7. Event communication
  8. Crisis Communication
  9. Conclusion

In 1933, Air Orient, Air Union,' Compagnie Generale Aerospostale', ?Societe Generale de Transport Aerien' (ex Farman airlines) and ?Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aerienne' (CIDNA) merged together to form Air France. Air France was officially inaugurated at the Le Bourget Airport on October 7, 1933. It incorporated the emblem of Air Orient, ?a winged seahorse' and moved into the premises of the latter at 2 Rue Marbeuf in Paris.

Today Air France is a major international airline and the leading European airline; it ranks third worldwide for the transport of passengers on international routes, the fourth largest in terms of international transport freight and the second biggest global provider for aircraft maintenance. Air France had 369 aircraft in operation in September 2004, 1,800 flights per day and carried 43.7 million passengers during the financial year 2003/2004.The company serves 189 destinations in 84 countries.

Such figures simply prove that Air France is a real benchmark for airlines and, therefore, it must maintain a certain standard for both consumers and other airlines. Most people equate air travel vacations with travel and tourism. Apart from the tourist segment, Air France is also directed to certain categories of individuals such as professional businessmen whose jobs require them to travel, and people whose families are located abroad. This obliges the company to guide and define its communication to reach more people. Air France has a mission, to serve as many airline consumers as possible. What communication strategy should Air France opt for?

To answer this question, we have studied the statements of the airline as a whole to give a panoramic view on the subject.

Air France focuses on the important aspect of quality in terms of its communication ?Quality of the aircraft, the network quality of the airline's stops and connections, quality of staff, quality of information. True quality management is established to provide the best customer service. Air France was the first airline in the world to engage in a certification service in 2001. It was primarily to take into account the expectations of customers to let them enjoy a regular and consistent quality service.

This certification is a voluntary service that allows a company to be recognized and certified by an outside agency depending on the characteristics of service to its customers to conform to a predefined reference. For that, Air France has inculcated 38 service commitments in collaboration with consumer associations, and verified by the certifier SGS ICS.

The 38 commitments of Air France's services can be equated with a code of communication. They are grouped into seven broad themes: An attentive and professional attitude, effective organization for the comfort of the client, clear and relevant information, services and assistance tailored to people with special needs, exclusive attention for customers in business classes, rigorous management techniques, listening to customer expectations and a measure of customer satisfaction.

Air France conducts a survey of its customers each year in order to remain knowledgeable regarding the expectations of the customer base.

[...] Business Communication ? Air France places clients at the heart of its strategy When traveling by Air France flights, customers can accumulate miles that can be turned into award tickets to be used in any of the airlines of the nine SkyTeam airline members. For passengers who want to explore multiple destinations in Europe or America, the alliance offers coupons and passes, like the European SkyTeam AirPass and SkyTeam America Pass. To offer more destinations and flights, Air France has teamed up with other airlines to share certain lines or certain flights. [...]

[...] ? Example of the crash of Concorde Internet is one of the first tools to be used in case of crisis. It has the advantage of relieving the emotional pressure; and helps one to keep up-to- date with the media. ?Journalists are seeking information demanded by the public?, explains Thierry Libaert, head of corporate communications at Celsa. Air France had understood the effectiveness of online communications clearly. On the occasion of the Concorde crash, the airline had implemented a very effective communications plan, according to experts. Seamlessly, the company released online news and press articles. The site had enabled [...]

[...] To meet the objectives that Air France has set in terms of quality, the company's policy must include an excellent internal communication strategy that is consistent with the image it wants to convey. It is in this perspective that I will mention three aspects of internal communications that reflect these goals. ? AFComNet : Intranet Air France Air France keeps its employees around the world up to date with AFComNet. Born from the will of the communications department of Air France, intranet AFComNet is for the whole population with an internal PC. [...]

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