Air France-KLM readies consumer agency hunt following Saltmarsh collapse

Troubled airline Air FranceKLM is repitching its consumer PR account following the collapse of one of its retained agencies.

Downturn: Air France-KLM plans to axe more than 5,000 jobs
Downturn: Air France-KLM plans to axe more than 5,000 jobs

Europe's largest carrier is redrawing its UK and Ireland consumer brief, which had been shared by Saltmarsh and Consolidated PR, until the former went into liquidation four months ago.

Since May, Consolidated has held the entire account on a temporary basis.

The move comes against a backdrop of losses for Air France-KLM, which has been hit by the economic downturn and volatile oil prices. The Franco-Dutch airline plans to cut more than 5,000 jobs by 2015.

An airline spokeswoman said the process was still at an early stage and that they 'just want to see what is out there'.

The spokeswoman added: 'The management is working on the brief at the moment, so the process is in the middle of being devised'.

It is understood that press office function, PR and social media will be included in the brief, with other aspects to be confirmed.

Saltmarsh won the Air France part of the business from Consolidated in January.

Its work included promoting Air France's London and Paris operations, with a focus on communicating the airline as a worldwide network for leisure and business travellers connecting at Charles de Gaulle airport.

Consolidated is understood to be considering repitching for the account. The agency has worked with KLM Royal Dutch Airline since before its merger with Air France in 2004.

Good Relations is also understood to have expressed an interest in the brief, as did KTA, Brands2Life and The Red Consultancy when news of Saltmarsh's liquidation surfaced in May.

However, Air France-KLM is expected to approach only agencies with which it has previously worked.

Air France-KLM suffered net losses of £713m in the three months to June, which the company blamed on a failure to cut overheads, in light of high fuel and labour costs.

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