Air France-KLM posted an operating loss of €306 million ($338 million) for the first quarter on revenue 42% higher than the same stage of last year at €6.33 billion.
The operating loss marked a reduction of €44 million over the first quarter last year – a period that also included the positive impact of €210 million a furlough scheme.
Group revenues, where were above the €6 billion recorded in the first quarter of 2019 before the pandemic, were driven by strong yields and the sharp jump in Air France-KLM passenger business activity. Air France-KLM passenger numbers were up almost a third to 15.8 millon over the first three months of 2023 on capacity increased 18% over 2023. Load factor was more than 11 points higher at 85.5%.
Air France posted an operating loss of €181 million on revenues up 46% to €3.92 billion, while KLM recorded a loss of €128 million as its revenues climbed 32% to €2.52 billion. Splitting out Transavia’s performance from these figures, the leisure unit made a loss of €172 million while the the network business lost €149 million over the first quarter.
Air France-KLM group chief executive Ben Smith says: “The group continued to show strong revenue growth as well as robust cash flow generation thanks to the very encouraging summer ticket sales. This is paving the way for a busy holiday season across our global network, which all of our teams are actively gearing up for.”
The group plans capacity, which stood at 92% during the first quarter, to be in the range of 90-95% during the second quarter and to be above 95% over the second half of the year.
Air France-KLM, which has not issued full-year guidance, cut net losses by €208 million to €344 million for the first quarter.