Air France-KLM posts more losses

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Air France-KLM Martinair (AF-KL-MP) made a loss of 535 million euros ($607.2 million) in 2014, while the cargo division made a loss of 212 million euros.

The loss was more than that made in 2013, when it was 463 million euros. Cargo revenue fell by 4.8 per cent to 2.6 billion euros, while freight losses increased to 212 million euros from 202 million euros in 2013. 

The group was affected by the Air France pilot strike, which cost the airline 425 million euros, of which 330 million euros was in the third quarter and 95 million euros in the fourth.

Despite the poor figures, Air France-KLM chairman, Alexandre de Juniac, is optimistic. “Despite the challenging economic and competitive context, once corrected for the impact of the Air France pilot strike, EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] is up by more than 50 per cent in three years, and the operating cash flow has more than tripled to reach nearly 1.5 billion euros.” In 2014, cargo volumes fell by 2.9 per cent to 1.3 million tonnes, as the airline restructured cargo activities because of weak trade and over capacity. In the fourth quarter, cargo volumes fell by 3.2 per cent to 334,000 tonnes.

Capacity dropped by 2.3 per cent to 15.6 billion though freighter capacity was down by seven per cent. Revenue tonne kilometres fell by 2.4 per cent to 9.8 billion and the load factor dipped by 0.1 percentage points to 63.1 per cent. AF-KL-MP says the first phase of its cost cutting Transform 2015 programme has been successfully completed, which includes downsizing freighter activity by 23 per cent between 2011 and 2014.

 The group says that as part of its Perform 2020 programme it will also phase out nine freighters and will only have five operating by the end of 2016.

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