Air France-KLM Group loss widens for first quarter

Air France-KLM Group has reported its that first-quarter loss deepened year on year, amid disruption costs, weaker cargo revenues and geopolitical troubles.

However, it said it is seeing a “steady ramp-up” in preparation for an “ambitious peak summer season”, supported by “strong bookings”.

The Franco-Dutch aviation group said passengers numbers rose 6.2% year on year to 20.9 million, as capacity increased by 4.5%.

But it saw an operating loss of €489 million while last year’s Q1 loss was €306 million. The first quarter is traditionally the weakest time of year for travel.

The group said Air France’s performance was affected by supply chain issues and IT system implementation for its cargo activity, while KLM’s performance was hampered by a one-time payment salary in January, worth about €50 million, as well as high customer compensation in January and February – also about €50 million.

Benjamin Smith, group chief executive, said: “Despite a challenging start to the year with persistent geopolitical tensions, Air France-KLM recorded further revenue growth this quarter, capitalising on a structurally robust travel demand.

“However, as anticipated, our operating income was impacted by disruption costs and a slower cargo business.

“We nonetheless remain confident in our ability to achieve our 2024 unit cost outlook.

“Finally, we are actively gearing up for a promising summer season with, in Paris, the eagerly awaited Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

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