Cultural conflicts dog Air-France-KLM, straining alliance, says leaked report

Air via Wikimedia Commons

The 13-year-old alliance between national carriers KLM and Air France is fraught with difficulty and some officials have doubts about whether it can continue, broadcaster NOS said, quoting a company document.

The internal report on the management culture within Air France-KLM highlights the lack of trust between the airlines’ staff, NOS, which has a copy of the document, said.

‘One questions whether the alliance can survive given the long-standing mutual incomprehension between the Dutch and French camps within the group, one researcher was quoted in the Telegraaf as saying.

The 100-page report underscores the deep divisions between the two. For example. a KLM employee working in Paris is charged €10 for lunch, while an Air France colleague pays only €4 which is a minor irritation, he said. But cultural differences – management methods and matters relating to authority – are more difficult to broach.

The Dutch and the French do not understand each other, both want to be the dominant partner and do not put the group’s interests first, the report said.

The report was carried out on behalf of the central works council and involved a Dutch and French researcher interviewing 50 senior managers.

The interviews show that Air France workers think the Dutch put their own interests first and do not consider the French. By contrast, the KLM staff say that their interests are not properly respected by Air France.

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