Safety, service and sustainability will be the three priorities of Air France KLM Canada as the carriers begin to ramp up their operations this summer out of this country.
They will be doing it under new leaderships as Air France KLM Canada introduced its new boss here during a virtual briefing yesterday afternoon (July 8).
Catherine Guillemart-Dias will take on the role of vice-president and general manager Canada, effective Aug. 1, succeeding Vincent Etchebehere, who will be heading Air France’s Sustainability and New Mobilities in Paris.
Guillemart-Dias said of her appointment: “I am delighted to assume the leadership of the Air France KLM Group’s operations in Canada. I have complete confidence in the teams’ ability to continue to provide our Canadian customers with the finest travel experience in accordance with the strictest health rules, while continuing to also uphold our societal and environmental commitments.”
She continued: “Together, we will keep working alongside Delta Air Lines on the integrated services of our transatlantic alliance and will continue to bolster our partnership with WestJet.”
Air France KLM’s new boss in Canada is a 13-year veteran of the Group, beginning her career in Paris as a business analyst, where she helped grow the French and Northern European markets.
From that role, she joined the Digital team, where she focused on the customer experience, and Corporate Sales, where she managed a portfolio of key accounts.
In 2013, she led the teams in Angola tasked with developing flights between Luanda and the Paris and Amsterdam hubs.
Guillemart-Dias returned to Paris in 2016, and was appointed Chief of Staff to the Senior Vice-President France.
In 2018, she joined Delta Air Lines in Atlanta collaborating on the expansion of the transatlantic joint venture for the EMEAI (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India) market.
Here in Canada, Air France KLM employs 130 persons across the country, in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Carriers Step Up Service
Air France and KLM will be increasing their operations out of Canada in July and August.
The two carriers were the only European airlines that continued to provide flights to Canada since March – with Air France serving Montreal and KLM serving Toronto.
The increased July and August operations will see Air France resume its Toronto to Paris service and flying out of Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary for KLM, for a total of 28 flights a week, or 37% of the 75 weekly flights originally scheduled.
Vincent Etchebehere, general manager for Air France KLM Canada, explained that: “Because we continued to fly between March and late June, we made it possible for businesses to continue to move cargo, and for travellers who met their country’s health and documentation requirements, we provided them with options to return home, attend to family emergencies, or even fulfill their professional or humanitarian duties.”
Etchebehere continued: “With the European Union recently lifting some restrictions, the addition of new flights means more opportunities for Canadians to safely travel to France, the Netherlands and many other European countries.”
During the briefing, Etchebehere walked participants through details of the impact of COVID-19 on both Air France KLM’s operations and those of the airline industry in general.
And he praised the work of his team here and emphasized the importance of the strong relationship that Air France KLM has with its trade partners here in Canada.
For details on the summer travel schedule, check out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro6w795wItU .
Stay Healthy, Wear A Mask
The briefing also offered details of the Air France KLM Group initiatives in instituting what the company describes as “the highest hygiene standards throughout its travel chain, both in-flight and on the ground.”
This includes deep cleaning of the aircraft, including all contact surfaces – tray table, seat, armrests, screen, remote control, window, overhead compartments, washrooms; social distancing signs and markers; protective screens at service counters; contactless temperature measurement; back-to-front boarding; health material on board; adaptation of in-flight service to limit interaction between passengers and crew.
Cabins are equipped with HEPA filters that capture 99.99% of viruses and bacteria, and they are also sprayed with an approved virucidal product.
Masks are mandatory in airports and on the group’s flights. ‘Surgical’ masks are now required on Air France flights (May 31 decree). KLM passengers have the option of flying with a universal mask. It is recommended that passengers have at least 3 masks in their carry-on for transatlantic flights, one hand disinfectant gel (under 100 ml), and single-use tissues.
Just A Reminder
The health and safety of passengers and crew are paramount for Air France and KLM, which is why the airlines wish to remind travellers that the Level 3 health notice issued by the government of Canada advising against non-essential travel is still in effect for Canadian passport holders, as is the order banning foreign nationals from entering Canada until July 31. The Quarantine Act in effect until Aug. 31 that applies to all travellers entering Canada.
For additional details on Air France’s measures, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jifi4WCSQgg&feature=youtu.be
For more on KLM’s initiatives in this area, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jifi4WCSQgg&feature=youtu.be