Air France-KLM in dire straits

Airbus A330 KLM (Image © Airbus)
Air France-KLM operates a total of 573 aircraft. (Image © Airbus)

UPDATED 29 OCTOBER 2014 | Things are not going well for Air France-KLM. The French-Dutch company published its quarterly results on Wednesday 29 October. KLM is reporting a 25 percent cut profit, while Air France saw its turnover diminished by pilot strikes. High labour costs plus competition from middle eastern airlines and low cost companies, forces Air France-KLM to take measures.

KLM however denies claims of 7,500 job cuts, a rumour that was taken in with disbelief in Dutch social media on Tuesday. KLM is considered to be Dutch pride, although the company was allowed to partner up with Air France in 2004. Many see actually saw this as a take over of KLM by Air France, and consider it a mistake that has caused KLM a lot of trouble over the years. Air France is said to drain finances from KLM, which is one of the oldest airlines in excistence wordlwide. On the other hand, KLM has been making a steady profit over the last ten years.

This autumn has been particularly bad for KLM nonetheless. Only two weeks ago, CEO Camiel Eurlings was forced out and replaced by Pieter Elbers. Meanwhile, Air France saw hundreds of millions euros wasted as its pilots went on strike in protest against an Air France-KLM plan to reform Transavia into a new low cost airline.

So far, the results in Q4 don’t look much better. KLM is now speeding up cost reduction measures. The anual Air France-KLM turnover is 25.6 billion Euro. Combined, the companies employ over 100,000 people and transport over 77 million passengers yearly.

© 2014 editor Elmer van Hest