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Air France-KLM posts profit jump after summer boom

Air France-KLM on Friday reported a surge in profit in the third quarter, boosted by strong summer demand that led to full planes and higher fares. The Dutch-French group reported profit in the third quarter of 931 million euros, double the same period last year, as the group benefited from robust demand for air travel. Turnover increased nearly seven percent to 8.7 billion euros. Between July and September this year the group transported 26.9 million people — an increase of 7.6 percent compared to the same period the previous year. The group’s CEO Benjamin Smith said it was a “solid quarter, marked by remarkable results.” Ticket prices have soared since the pandemic, driven by rising fuel costs, increased demand and capacity constraints. Air France-KLM managed to turn a profit last year after having lost 11 billion euros during the Covid-19 pandemic, requiring the governments of France and the Netherlands to intervene. Last month the group announced it was placing an order for 505 long-haul Airbus A350s as part of its efforts to introduce more fuel-efficient planes. The group has also joined an investment consortium to buy nearly 20 percent of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), which filed for bankruptcy protection last year as it reeled from Covid travel bans and a costly pilots strike. Air France-KLM has also expressed interest in buying a stake in Portugal’s flag carrier TAP, which is being privatised after a rescue by the government.

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