Dutch pilots demand AF-KLM Cargo cancels wet-lease freighter deal with Qatar Airways

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Dutch pilots’ association VNV has hit out at Air France-KLM for wet-leasing airplanes from Qatar Airways, claiming the Qatari carrier engages in anti-competitive practices.

In a letter to Air France-KLM Cargo’s EVP, Marcel de Nooijer, the VNV demands an end to the arrangement and an explanation of how it came about.

The Franco-Dutch holding has wet-leased two B777-Fs from Qatar Airways’ cargo division to cover for the capacity shortage during the planned maintenance of own aircraft in summer. Each of Boeing freighters will operate for Air France consecutively for periods of up to eight weeks.

According to the AF-KLM spokesperson “A lease has been organised to guarantee the capacity during this period and to continue to serve our customers,” added the spokesperson. “After in-depth investigation, Qatar was the only airline able to provide the required capacities.”

The first of the two aircraft, A7-BFA (msn 36098), started operating transatlantic cargo flights on behalf of Air France on July 22, 2018, Flightradar24 ADS-B data shows.

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