The KLM management thinks that the current coronavirus crisis could mean the end of the Air France-KLM combination. According to the Dutch part of the combination, Air France needs to drastically cut costs, but it seems increasingly unlikely that the French airline will do so given the 7 billion euros bailout the French government is providing, people involved told Financieele Dagblad.
Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra has voiced his disapproval at the prospect of KLM's top boss, Pieter Elbers, receiving a pay increase this year, calling the possibility "unwise". This comes after a meeting agenda for KLM stakeholders, which indicates the CEO could receive a bonus that would effectively double his 2020 salary, was leaked to the newspaper De Telegraaf on Friday.
Aviation giant Air France-KLM Group is currently in discussion with various banks in order to secure at least six billion euros in government-backed emergency loans, sources told news agency Reuters on Friday. The emergency loans, of which 2 billion euros will likely go to KLM, are being designed in order to help keep the airlines afloat during the economic fallout resulting from the coronavirus crisis.
With Covid-19 diagnoses popping up in more and more countries, KLM and Air France decided to waive re-booking fees for the coming weeks. The spread of the coronavirus means that more countries are implementing travel restrictions, and governments are issuing negative travel advice for more destinations.
KLM is extending the cancellation of its flights to mainland China through to at least mid-March, the Dutch airline announced on Thursday. The airline first canceled all its flights to mainland China early this month, due to the outbreak of the new coronavirus. "The health of employees and customers is paramount in all KLM decisions," the airline said.
Air France-KLM made an offer to buy a 49 percent share in the struggling Malaysia Airlines, sources told Reuters and NU.nl. The Malaysian government is looking for a strategic partner to keep the national airline up and running.
Other airlines also showed interest in buying shares. Japan Airlines wants a 25 percent stake in the company, and local competitors AirAsia Group and Malindo Air also made offers, according to the newspaper.
It seems that the Netherlands and France are on good terms again, after the Dutch state unexpectedly bought a large interest in Air France-KLM this week. During a joint press conference, Dutch Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and French Minister Bruno Le Maire of Economic Affairs stressed their common interest in making Air France-KLM "the best aviation company in the world", NOS reports.
French president Emmanuel Macron wants clarity from the Dutch government about its strategy with regard to Air France-KLM. Now that the Dutch state bought a considerable interest in the airline combination, it is important for the Netherlands to make its intentions clear, Macron said, AD reports.
The price for Air France-KLM shares opened 9.3 percent lower on Wednesday, dropping from 12.73 euros at closing on Tuesday to 11.65 euros just after the start of trading on Wednesday. On Tuesday evening Ministers Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure announced that the Dutch State built up a significant share in the airline group over the past week, NU.nl reports.
The Dutch State bought 12.68 percent shares in Air France-KLM, worth 680 million euros, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance announced at a press conference on Tuesday evening. The French government did not know about this move in advance, according to French Minister of Economic Affairs Bruno Le Maire, NU.nl reports.
KLM transported a record number of almost 34.2 million passengers last year, an increase of 4.5 percent compared to 2017. According to the Dutch airline, the increase was greatest in Europe and North and South America, ANP reports.
The occupancy rate - how many seats in the airplane was filled - increased by 0.7 percent to a record 89.1 percent. The Dutch airline's worldwide network expanded by four destinations to a total of 166 last year. The total KLM group, including Transavia Netherlands, welcomed 43 million passengers last year.
A China Eastern passenger jet flying from Shanghai to Paris was diverted to Amsterdam on Thursday morning due to weather conditions in Paris. The passengers on flight #553 were then forced to wait inside the Boeing 777-300 at Schiphol Airport for over 4.5 hours after their 13-hour flight.
Air France-KLM's financial results for the second quarter were severely pressured by strikes at Air France, as well as a higher fuel bill. Despite this the French-Dutch airline combination's operating profit was considerably higher than analysts had anticipated, NU.nl reports.
In April airline Air France-KLM transported fewer passengers than in the same month last year, due to strikes at Air France. The French-Dutch airline transported 6.9 million passengers in April, 2.5 percent less than the over 7 million passengers transported in April 2017, RTL Nieuws reports.
At KLM the number of passengers increased by over 5 percent. But that was not enough to compensate for the nearly 9 percent decrease at Air France.
The Dutch government will not take any concrete measures to help Air France-KLM cope with the unrest on the French side of the airline, Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister Hugo de Jonge both said, in different words, on Wednesday, NU.nl reports.
Air France employees are striking for a 5 percent wage increase. The strikes cost Air France 75 million euros so far, and resulted in the resignation of Air France-KLM's CEO last week.
A collision between an Air France plane flying from Paris to Amsterdam and an EgyptAir plane flying from Oostende to Cairo was narrowly avoided last year. The EgyptAir plane misunderstood air traffic control's instructions, resulting in the two planes flying only 4 seconds apart over Ghent on January 1st, 2017, according to an interim report from the Air Accident Investigation Unit, RTL Nieuws reports.
Air France-KLM shareholders gave the go-ahead for the company's plan to intensify cooperation with Delta Air Lines and China Eastern. The plan involves selling 10 percent of shares to each of the other two airlines, the Telegraaf reports.
The French-Dutch airline group will get a total of over 750 million euros in new capital in the sale of these shares. Delta Air Lines and China Eastern will each get a commissioner seat in exchange for their investment.
KLM transported 6.5 percent more passengers in July compared to the same month last year. In total the Dutch airline had almost 3.1 million passengers aboard its aircrafts last month, according to transport figures published on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
The available capacity increased by 2.4 percent in the same period. That means that the occupancy rate reached a record high of 91.7 percent. Budget subsidiary Transavia also transported more passengers, an increase of 2.5 percent to 1.7 million people.
The leaders of Air France-KLM are not happy with KLM works council chairman Jan-Willem van Dijk. According to the them, he repeatedly made "factually wrong" statements in the media about new Air France subsidiary Joon over the past week, Financieele Dagblad reports based on a letter from Jerome Nanty - the highest HR manager at Air-France KLM.
The KLM central works council has concerns about new agreements made on Air France's new budget airline Joon in Paris last week. "We're looking at it with suspicion", Jan-Willem van Dijk, chairman of the KLM works council, said to broadcaster NOS. The council fears that the new agreements are not in the interest of the Dutch branch of Air France-KLM.
Managers of KLM and Air France are deeply suspicious of each other, according to a confidential report drawn up on behalf of French and Dutch unions. At both airlines the managers feel that their colleagues at the other airline are out for only their interests. "The surveyed managers even doubt whether Air France-KLM will be able to survive", Reinier Castelein, president of trade union De Unie, said to EenVandaag on Tuesday.
For the study, the results of which are in the possession of EenVandaag, 50 managers at each airline were questioned.
The European Commission gave Air France KLM a 310 million euros fine for price fixing and collusion in the air cargo transit market, NOS reports.
The Commission fined eleven airlines a total of nearly 800 million euros for this offense, according to the broadcaster.
The airlines were charged with making secret agreements between 1999 and 2006 on how to deal with fuel and security surcharges and on how to ensure that no discounts were granted.
Air France-KLM is increasing its offer in the new summer schedule by 3 percent, compared to last year's summer schedule. A record number of 53 destinations will be added, both European and long-haul destinations, the French-Dutch airline group announced on Monday, ANP reports.
The French-Dutch group is increasing its intercontinental destinations by 2 percent and short and mid-length flights by 2.7 percent. As in previous years, budget subsidiary Transavia is increasing its offer the most. The budget airline's capacity is increasing by 10 percent.
French-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM saw a significant increase in profits over 2016. The net profit for the company amounted to 792 million euros last year, compared to 118 million in 2015. The operating result also increased sharply to 1.05 billion euros, NU.nl reports
The company benefited from cost cutting measures and a lower fuel bill. But did suffer from an increasing global pressure on ticket prices.