KLM is to bring its no-frills operations under a single management and its wholly-owned regional feeder operations together, in a move designed to deliver substantial savings from fleet commonality and revenue gains from more effective marketing and management.

KLM uk chief executive Floris van Pallandt will head a division combining the London Stansted-based airline's two-year-old no-frills division Buzz, and the Basiq Air low-price brand of Dutch charter airline Transavia. Buzz will retain its operational and licensing links to KLM uk despite the management reshuffle. Transavia will remain focused on European and north African leisure destinations, while KLM may replace the Basiq Air brand with the Buzz name.

Van Pallandt will also address Buzz's long term fleet plans. The airline operates eight ex-KLMuk BAe 146-300s and two Boeing 737-300s, but is expected to move to a single type in the 150-seat-pluscategory - probably the 737.

Elfrike van Galen, KLM Cityhopper's chief executive, will now become chief executive of a new unit combining KLM uk and KLM Cityhopper. He hopes to find savings from combining the maintenance, handling and purchasing of the two regional airlines' Fokker fleets (Flight International, 26 February-4 March).

KLM's restructuring follows fellow European carrier Scandinavian Airlines' (SAS) decision to relaunch its Scandinavian operations with a single level of service.

The main "perk" for business passengers will now be ticket flexibility, SAS says. SAS plans to attract business passengers by cutting prices by 30% for tickets booked at least seven days in advance - although prices for the most flexible tickets could increase. SAS hopes to recover yields while achieving savings by simplifying the onboard service, but denies it is trying to become a low-cost carrier.

Business traffic fell 13% in February. Losses, which reached Skr1.79 billion ($169 million) before sale of aircraft and buildings last year, are expected to continue throughout most of this year.

Source: Flight International