The study was performed by Philippe d’Iribarne from the French Institute of Science and Niels Noorderhaven of Tilburg University, involving 47 interviews with Air France and KLM staff between January and April 2017.
Detailing their findings in a report called “The relationship between Air France and KLM as experienced by the employees,” the researchers identified cultural friction between the two airlines and their respective nationalities.
“Mutual understanding between the French and the Dutch is often weak,” the report concluded.
KLM replied to the findings, noting that the report was commissioned by Franco-Dutch trade unions.
“We understand the sentiments expressed and acknowledge the circumstances sketched in the report. There is room for improvement in some areas. However, the report also addresses other areas which are performing well. We will consider these sentiments with all due diligence. During the coming period, we will join hands with Air France to see how we can learn from this and bring about improvements wherever necessary,” KLM said.
Air France also responded to the report, saying the research was supported at group-level as a way to restore trust between Air France, KLM and Air France-KLM under the Trust Together strategic plan.
“The conclusion of this study identifies cultural differences and different visions, sometimes leading to difficulties, but also a common interest and the desire to find solutions in the interest of Air France-KLM group and each airline. During the coming period, we will see within Air France, KLM and Air France-KLM how we can learn together from the outcome and bring about improvements wherever necessary,” Air France said.
(Victoria Moores - ATWOnline News)