Air Transport World

EUROPE REPORT

                     European airline traffic                              May, 1998            RPKs     %chg.       ASKs   %chg.       Load +/-      (billions)      1997 (billions)   1997 factor (%) 1997  BA         9.6       7.6       14.0   10.1       68.3 -1.6  KLM        4.7       4.7        6.3    7.3       75.1 -1.8  SAS        1.6      -8.1        2.4   -9.2       66.0 +0.8  SOURCE: Airline reports.      

The French government intends to proceed with plans to sell off 20% of Air France in Sept, despite the disastrous financial and public relations impact of a 10-day pilots' strike that crippled operations on the eve of the World Cup soccer finals in early June. The strike, over the airline's attempt to impose a 2tier wage system on the pilots, cost the airline an estimated $170 million in lost revenue and even more in the court of public opinion, as the travel plans of thousands of soccer fans were thrown into disarray.

Adding pathos to the situation is the fact that it occurred just a few days after the airline triumphantly announced its first net profit this decade, Ff1. …

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