PARIS, Oct 30 — Air France-KLM said today that the coronavirus pandemic pushed it deep into the red in the third quarter as international travel restrictions caused passenger numbers to plummet, adding that the situation was expected to remain “challenging” in the final quarter.
The airline group said in a statement it booked a net loss of €1.7 billion (RM8.25 billion) in the three months to September, compared with profit of €363 million in the same period a year earlier.
“The continuation of the Covid-19 crisis severely impacted our third-quarter results,” Air France-KLM said.
Following the lifting of the lockdown in the spring, Air France-KLM observed “a positive demand recovery trend until mid-August,” the statement said.
But then, “the negative trend reversal for the passenger activity led (our) airlines to adjust downwards the capacity planned for the fall and winter period,” the carrier explained.
“There is limited visibility on the demand recovery curve as customer booking behaviour is much more short-term oriented and also highly dependent on the imposed travel restrictions, especially on the long-haul network.”
And with France now re-entering lockdown to try to stem a second wave of virus infections, that would represent “a new difficulty that will weigh on the group’s activities.”
Third-quarter revenues nosedived to €2.5 billion, from €7.6 billion a year earlier.
And passenger numbers were down 70 per cent at 8.8 million.
Air France-KLM “anticipates a challenging fourth quarter 2020,” the statement said. — AFP