The page of the health crisis is turning for Air France-KLM. The airline group posted €728 million in net profit last year, more than double the €290 million in 2019, before the pandemic plunged air travel into the worst crisis in its history. Results that will allow it to be freed in April from the constraints related to aid granted by States during the height of the Covid-19 epidemic. In 2020, the group had lost 7.1 billion euros, and another 3.3 billion in 2021.

In addition to this return to profits, Air France-KLM reached a level of revenue close to that of 2019, at 26.4 billion euros, against 27.2 three years earlier, he said Friday in a statement. And this, while the group transported only 83 million people last year, 21 million less than in 2019. In 2022, it had deployed only 85% of its pre-crisis siege capacity.

No more constraints

Saved from bankruptcy by the interventions of the French and Dutch states, the Franco-Dutch group has emerged intrinsically more profitable from the crisis, with fewer unprofitable aircraft and a workforce increased to 75,500 full-time equivalents at the end of 2022, compared to 85,600 at the end of 2019. After this year 2022, which has almost erased the effects of the crisis on activity and profitability, Air France-KLM hopes to be able to clean up its financial structure. The group further reduced its net debt, which fell from 8.2 to 6.3 billion euros between the end of 2021 and the end of 2022.

In addition, the company intends to be released by April from all obligations related to the aid provided in 2020 and 2021 by the home states of its two main companies, to enable it to survive the pandemic. This will include the repayment of the last tranche of 2.5 billion euros of loans guaranteed by the French State. The capital structure will not be changed, with the State still holding 28.6% of the shares.

The group will no longer have to comply with the constraints that the European Commission had linked to this aid: prohibition of paying dividends, moderation of executive remuneration and limitation of acquisitions, for example of other companies.

  • Economy
  • Air France
  • Airline
  • Air traffic