Not informing the Tweede Kamer about the government purchasing shares in Air France-KLM was a "judgment call", Minister Wopke Hoekstra of Finance said in a debate on the matter on Tuesday. He considered all variants of parliamentary involvement in the purchase. "Considering all the pluses and minuses, this was the most ideal, but an ideal outcome does not exist", he said, NOS reports.
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.
Pieter Elbers will be allowed to stay on as CEO of Dutch airline KLM, the board of Air France-KLM decided. The Dutch man's term as CEO comes to an end in April, but the intention now is that it will be extended. The shareholders still have to formally approve Elbers' reappointment at the annual meeting in April, NOS reports.
Executives of Dutch airline KLM are very concerned about the direction parent company Air France-KLM is taking, they wrote in a letter to the Air France-KLM executive board. They are particularly concerned about the imminent departure of KLM CEO Pieter Elbers, whose term is almost up, and call for him to be reappointed, ANP reports based on the letter, which is in the news wire's possession.
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.
Canadian Benjamin Smith was appointed as the new CEO of Air France-KLM - the first time in its 85 year long existence that a French man is not at the head of the French-Dutch airline combination. Smith is currently the chief operating officer of Air Canada. He will take office at Air France-KLM on September 30th at the latest, NOS reports.
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.
Belgian consumers' organization Test-Ankoop is filing a lawsuit in Belgium against Air France-KLM, accusing the airline of causing customers unnecessary costs with its no-show clause. Travelers who did not use part of their ticket, are not allowed to board without paying a surcharge or buying new ticket, according to Test-Ankoop, AD 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.
Dutch Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure met with her French counterpart Elisabeth Borne on Monday night to discuss strikes on the French side of airline Air France-KLM, and the consequences they hold, NU.nl 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.
Air France-KLM booked a profit of 367 million euros in the last quarter, about nine times higher than the 41 million euros of profit made in the second quarter of 2016. Revenues increased by over 6 percent. The Dutch branch of the airline combination was the driving force behind the profit and revenue increases, NOS reports.
The French-Dutch airline can mainly attribute the growing profits and revenues to a sharp increase in passenger numbers. In April, May and June, 26 million people traveled with Air France-KLM, 7.5 percent more than a year before.
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.
KLM Group transported nearly 2 million more passengers in the first half of 2017 than in the same period last year. The number of passengers increased by 11 percent to nearly 20 million, NU.nl reports.
The airline group includes KLM Cityhopper, Transavia and Martinair. The airline's capacity grew by 6 percent and the occupancy rate came out at 89.3 percent in June.
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.
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.
Air France-KLM is one of several airlines that may be facing a massive fine from Brussels. The Dutch-French airline is accused of cartel forming in the cargo transit market, ANP reports.
Insiders told the news wire that attempts to negotiate a settlement failed. Which means that fines amounting to millions of euros may be imposed on the involved airlines.
The authorities suspect 11 airlines for making secret agreements between 1999 and 2006 on how they would deal with fuel and security surcharges and how to ensure that no discounts were granted.