Air France KLM narrows losses, even as Delta variant looms ahead

Following an easing of coronavirus travel restrictions along with positive cash flow during the second quarter of this month saw Air France-KLM seeing the first signs of recovery as the airline group narrows down its losses.

“Obviously the first quarter was terrible and probably even more so for KLM due to the very specific measure of double testing,” said Pieter Elbers, head of Air France-KLM  Dutch unit in reference to a requirement in the Netherlands for passengers to provide two negative tests on return flights.

He went on to add, “In the second (quarter) we see a significant improvement. We see the numbers picking up even within the second quarter, June was better than April and in July, the first week of July, Amsterdam was the busiest airport in Europe”.

Calling on European countries to reopen the border, he said, people are still reluctant to travel.

“What we see now is that the uncertainty around the Delta variant, what measures are going to be taken, is of course creating some confusion for customers. That’s why European countries need to step up and say ‘this is what we are going to do,'” said Elbers.

Air France-KLM posted losses to the tune of $294.57 million (248 million euros), before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), marking a 532-million-euro improvement from losses made a year earlier.

Its EBITDA during the third-quarter is expected to be positive. The Anglo-Dutch group kept its medium-term operating margin goal remained unchanged.

With the news reaching the market, its shares rose less than 1% in early trading.

($1 = 0.8419 euros)

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