Air France

What it takes to constantly elevate customer experience, in-flight and on the ground. Digna Faber, Business Development Manager - West Region USA for Air France - KLM

Let’s get to know you a bit better: what is your role at Air France KLM?

My name is Digna Faber, and I am the Business Development Manager of the West Region USA for Air France-KLM. I work closely with the global sales and marketing team of Delta Air Lines, our joint venture partner, and my scope includes the commercial focus of Air France-KLM on our corporate and agency clients, as well as on our B2C partnerships, including the FACCSF, that are located in the West and Central regions of the USA. I am based in Los Angeles.

 

You operate in a highly competitive market and customer service is one of the differentiators of Air France KLM. Can you give examples of new services you have been developing?

Our mission at Air France and KLM is to continually elevate our services and invest in our product. We are also making strides in offering a more streamlined and consistent product. By the end of March 2020, all of Air France’s A330 aircraft will be retrofitted with new interiors, including flat bed seats in Business class. In addition, Air France is about to launch business class on domestic flights in France which will allow passengers lounge and SkyPriority access in addition to other benefits provided to our business passengers . In the United States, Air France just launched its partnership with Chicago-born, Michelin-starred and James Beard Award winning Chef Daniel Rose. Dishes designed by Chef Rose are now being offered on all Air France flights on departure from US gateways, including SFO. Chef Rose is the first American-born chef to partner with Air France to design in-flight dishes, and he is known for his elegant and delicious take on classic French cooking. Chef Rose is behind “Le Coucou” in New York City, and “Chez La Vieille” and “La Bourse et La Vie” in Paris. And finally, connectivity is key for today’s traveller, and by 2020, the majority of our (long-haul) fleet will be equipped with Wi-Fi on board.

 

You are constantly improving and renewing your fleet, products and services. How does this change your clients’ experience?

Fleet and product renewal is at the core of our commitment to elevating the client experience, especially at a time when passengers are increasingly telling us that the carbon footprint of their flights matters to them. As an airline group, we continue to invest in a more fuel efficient fleet. Older, less fuel efficient aircraft such as Air France’s Airbus A380 and KLM’s B747-400 will be phased out by 2022. They are being replaced by B787’s and A350’s, in particular, that are on average 20% more fuel efficient than the older types of aircraft. In addition, Air France and KLM continue to invest in bio-fuel projects. KLM has successfully operated all flights from LAX-Los Angeles to AMS-Amsterdam with a bio-fuel blend for about six years, and thanks to a cooperation with Shell, Air France will blend bio-fuel on flights from SFO-San Francisco to CDG-Paris. All these efforts have led to Air France-KLM’s reclaiming the top position of the Dow-Jones Sustainability Index in 2019. 

 

What can your clients get excited about from your upcoming joint-venture with Virgin Atlantic?

It is still a bit early to speak to all the benefits, but in short, we look forward to expanding our offer of seamless modern travel to more destinations between the US,  Europe, and beyond; including in India, which is an important market for us. 

 

What is next for Air France KLM in the short and long term in the US market? (opening of new lines, improved lounges, new offers…)

At the end of March, Air France will re-open its seasonal service to DFW-Dallas Fort-Worth, and KLM will inaugurate its service to AUS-Austin. In addition, Air France and KLM continue to invest in lounges around the world. In 2018, Air France opened an impressive new lounge at CDG-Paris that features an extensive spa and wellness center complete with private saunas and Clarins spa, and just a few days ago unveiled a brand new business class lounge at ORY-Orly Airport for long-haul flights. In December 2019, KLM officially opened the entirety of its new flagship Crown Lounge at Schiphol that has outdoor terraces and a Michelin-starred restaurant. 

In the US, we just unveiled newly renovated lounges at IAD-Washington Dulles airport and JFK-New York airport that both offer “Night Service,” a dining service that allows passengers to enjoy their dinner prior to departure to better ensure they sleep during the flight.

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