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Air France-KLM Makes €4.5 Billion Operating Loss

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Air France-KLM made an operating loss of €4.5 billion in the year to Dec. 31, 2020, a deterioration of €5.7 billion on 2019 as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. On an EBITDA basis, the airline group made a €1.7 billion loss.

Revenue for the group was €11.1 billion, down 59 percent from 2019; the group’s airlines carried 28.9 million passengers, a drop of 67 percent year over year.

Staff numbers at the airline were reduced by 10 percent during 2020, and the group said that it would reduce full-time employee numbers a further 6,000 in the coming years.

The airline said that the first quarter of 2021 would be “challenging” due to the lockdown and travel restrictions still in place.

“There is limited visibility on the demand recovery curve as customer booking behavior is much more short-term oriented and also highly dependent on the imposed travel restrictions, on both the long-haul and medium-haul network,” the group said.

It said it expects recovery in the second and third quarters thanks to vaccine deployment.

The group said it expected to have 7 percent fewer aircraft in 2022 than in 2019 and that capacity will only recover to 2019 levels by 2024. 

On Dec. 31, 2020, the group had €9.8 billion of liquidity and credit lines at its disposal. 

Group CEO Benjamin Smith said: “2020 tested the Air France-KLM Group with the most severe crisis ever experienced by the air transport industry. I would like to thank our employees for their dedication and tremendous flexibility during this period, which has allowed us to remain resilient despite an unprecedented drop in traffic.

“Thanks to the French- and Dutch state support and this agile way of working, we were able to drastically reduce our costs, protect our cash, and continue the execution of major transformation plans within our airlines, involving the efforts of all employees.”

Originally published by BTN Europe.

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