EUROPE & CIS: Air France-KLM plunges into red

Air France-KLM has plunged into a third-quarter operating loss of €194 million euros, reflecting what the airline described as a deepening economic crisis. The losses were expected after Europe’s largest airline group warned of a quarterly loss of 200 million euros last month, as the global economic crisis pulls the airline sector deep intothe red. […]


Air France-KLM has plunged into a third-quarter operating loss of €194 million euros, reflecting what the airline described as a deepening economic crisis. The losses were expected after Europe’s largest airline group warned of a quarterly loss of 200 million euros last month, as the global economic crisis pulls the airline sector deep intothe red.

Overcapacity and evaporating fuel surcharges put pressure on cargo pricing in the third quarter, driving down unit revenue as freight traffic fell by 12.5 per cent, Air France-KLM said.

The airline reported a drop of more than 20 per cent in underlying cargo traffic for a second month and a 1.9 per cent drop in passenger traffic in January, led by falls in Europe where bad weather worsened the impact of recession.

As a barometer of the way the economy is affecting aviation, aviation executives say cargo data could point to further declines in passenger traffic in coming months.

Air France-KLM said revenue fell 0.1 per cent to €5.97 billion in its third quarter ending 31 December. The €288 million negative impact of its fuel hedging contracts helped to push Air France-KLM into a net loss of €505 million in third quarter from a net profit of €139 million a year earlier.