The Air France-KLM results for the third quarter of 2020 grimly reconfirm the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the air transport industry. This is without doubt our deepest crisis since World War II – for broader society, for aviation in general, and certainly for KLM. Our cargo division is performing well and generating extra revenue, but our passenger flights have been scaled down further for the winter season.
Traditionally, the third quarter is especially strong in the air transport industry, but KLM has now incurred a loss of EUR 234 million for the quarter, down EUR 745 million compared to Q3 last year. The result incurred during the first nine months of 2020 has deteriorated by 1,7 billion compared to 2019.
There were cautious signs of recovery in July and August, with an increase in bookings for KLM’s European flights. Regrettably, KLM was forced to respond to changing travel warnings for many European countries in September, downscaling its European network for the winter season, which will result in a further decline in revenues.
A wide array of measures have already been taken to downsize KLM operations in line with the sharp decline in demand and flights. By the end of the year, the KLM Group will have bid farewell to around 5,000 employees (-15%). In view of recent developments prompted by the second wave of the pandemic and the sombre outlook, further rightsizing of the organisation will be considered.
These results confirm just how bad things are in the air transport industry. KLM has incurred a loss of EUR 234 million in the third quarter, down EUR 745 million compared to Q3 last year. Without the Dutch government’s NOW support scheme, we would have incurred a loss of EUR 500 million.
To safeguard the future of our airline and employment opportunities, the loan and loan guarantees offered by the Dutch government are of crucial importance.
These poor results are certainly no reflection of the continued commitment of KLM employees, who are braving difficult working conditions to keep serving our customers. I greatly appreciate and respect their efforts.
Amstelveen, 30 October 2020