Airline Air France KLM transported more passengers in the first quarter of this year. But despite that growth, the company posted a loss of 344 million euros over the first three months of this year.
Turnover at the airline rose to 6.3 billion euros. KLM had a turnover of 2.5 billion euros. Both Air France and KLM as well as holiday flyer Transavia deployed more aircraft, and those aircraft were also fuller.
But costs also increased. For example, the company spent 79 percent more on fuel, a major cost item for airlines. More flights were flown, but the fact that flights had to be flown around Russia also cost extra fuel. After payment of costs such as interest, a loss ultimately remained.
Bookings for the current period and the summer quarter are also going well, both at KLM and sister company Air France. They are higher than last year. Air France-KLM therefore notices little of the high inflation and savings that consumers make. The demand for air travel in the summer remains strong, also outside Europe.
This is especially true for subsidiary Transavia, because despite the problems with canceled flights, capacity this quarter is about a fifth higher than last year. That growth was even greater in the first quarter, but the flights are nevertheless also fuller. And ticket sales through September are ahead of last year.
Debts paid off
Transavia’s results lagged somewhat in the first quarter, but that has to do with the fact that Transavia is a holiday flyer. That airline is more affected by exchange rate differences because, unlike Air France and KLM, it sells all tickets in euros.
With the repayment of all debts guaranteed by the Dutch and French governments, Air France-KLM’s debt burden has also fallen sharply. At the end of March, this amounted to around 5.5 billion euros. That is 1.5 times operating profit and that is at the lower end of what the aviation group wanted to achieve this year.
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