Air France-KLM Sees Bigger Losses Before Recovery

Renewed COVID-19 lockdowns are pushing Air France-KLM deeper into the red, the airline group warned on Thursday, as it chalked up a 7.1 billion euro ($8.5 billion) net loss for 2020 and postponed a key mid-term profitability goal, Reuters reported. The airline group expects to fly 40% of its pre-crisis capacity in January-March, as tougher travel curbs in France and beyond widen losses from the 407 million euros in negative earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) recorded in the fourth quarter. The past year has “tested the Air France-KLM Group with the most severe crisis ever experienced by the air transport industry,” Chief Executive Ben Smith said. The worsening travel outlook threatens to ruin Europe’s critical summer season and leave major carriers in need of another round of funding support, analysts warn. Air France-KLM last year received 10.4 billion euros in loans and guarantees from France and the Netherlands and is negotiating the terms of a state-backed recapitalisation, with EU regulators pushing for airport slot concessions. Read more.