In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Dutch flag carrier KLM announced it was slashing 25 percent of its schedule in March, and between 30-40 percent of its flights over the following three months. The airline said it would also cut the equivalent of up to two thousand full time jobs, starting on Saturday.
Donald Trump's decision to ban flights between Europe and the United states is "potentially very drastic", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday. "We have very intensive relationships, a lot of people- and a lot of trade traffic." The Minister will examine whether the travel advice for the United States needs to be adjusted, he said to NOS.
The Netherlands and France are in discussions regarding the Dutch government selling its shares in Dutch airline KLM, the French ambassador in The Hague confirmed to BNR and Financieele Dagblad.
The Netherlands owns 6 percent shares in KLM and 14 percent shares in Air France-KLM. That is more than the French government's shares, making the situation "out of balance", French ambassador Luis Vassy said to the news agencies.
Air France-KLM expects that the consequences of the coronavirus outbreak in China will cost the company up to 200 million euros through to April. The Air France-KLM Group made this announcement as part of its year-end report, where the company took a 1.141 billion euro profit, down 264 million from a year earlier.
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.
Parties in the Tweede Kamer are doubtful about whether the Dutch State's purchase of 750 million euros in Air France-KLM shares is having the promised effect. Coalition party D66 and opposition parties PvdA and PVV, among others, want Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra to show how the government's purchase of these shares improved KLM's position in the airline combination, NOS reports.
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.
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.
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.