KLM COO On Cost, Innovation #MROE

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Pieter Elbers, KLM's COO, keynoted MRO Europe today and talked about the need to cut costs but invest large amounts in innovation to position the airline for the future. Beyond what KLM and Air France have done since 2004 to merge their airline and MRO operations, Elbers said the airline is talking to other airlines within the Skyteam alliance to see what maintenance systems and efficiencies could be shared. The talks are in "very early stages," he said.

He said the airline side paved the way through joining things such as the frequent flyer programs. One MRO cooperative area, for instance, could be AOG agreements, said Elbers.

While KLM celebrated its 93rd birthday on Sunday, it happily acknowledged its long history but is setting plans for long-term sustainability: "often legacy airlines end in history books but we want to secure our future," he said.

Speaking of sustainability, congratulations to KLM for being ranked #1 for 8 straight years on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index!

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