Higher fuel costs hit profits at Air France-KLM

Air France-KLM has reported a 31 per cent drop in net profit, to €290 million, for 2019.

The news comes on the back of a falloff in freight and rising fuel bills.

“In 2019, the Air France-KLM Group posted an operating result at €1,141 million with a fuel bill hit and pressure on cargo unit revenues” said Benjamin Smith, chief executive, Air France-KLM Group.

“Over the year we reinforced our foundations to build a European champion, notably through fleet optimisation and restored trust that led to social stability and positive labour agreements at Air France and new CLA agreements at KLM.

“In November, we outlined our strategic plan with a substantial further step-up in financial performance foreseen, and we begin on this five-year trajectory with a robust financial structure and strong unique assets.”

Looking ahead, Air France-KLM said it expected its 2020 fuel bill to fall €300 million when compared to 2019, down to €5.2 billion.

However, the airline warned it could take a hit of €150-200 million from the spread of coronavirus.

Flights to China, suspended in February, are not expected to resume until April at the earliest.

Earlier, IATA warned the outbreak could cost the industry US$30 billion.

Source : Breakingtravelnews