Air France performed "better than at any time in its history" during the first six months of its current financial year, says president Jean-Cyril Spinetta. Its 52.3% increase in net income, compared to the previous year, to Fr2.03 billion ($313 million), left its main European competitors standing.

Operating income rose even more steeply - by 85%, to Fr2.3 billion - easily outperforming British Airways and Lufthansa, which saw profits fall. Spinetta attributes the increase to factors that include the alliance with Delta Air Lines, which has seen Air France's US destinations grow to 89, bringing a 21.3% increase in traffic; the opening of a third runway and new passenger terminal at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport; and new links between the airport and the TGV high-speed train network.

Another factor was an 18.6% increase in first and business class capacity on long-haul flights, contributing to a 20.5% revenue increase. Passenger traffic grew by 16% and capacity by 14.5%, with yields up by 0.9%.

Source: Flight International