Air France-KLM accumulated steep losses in 2012, with a soaring fuel bill and charges related to its restructuring programme plunging the airline nearly 1.2 billion euros (1.6 billion dollars) into the red.
The losses were up sharply over 2011, when the airline lost 809 million euros, according to German press agency ‘dpa’.
On the operating front, the group fared better. Operating losses fell from 353 million euros to 300 million euros over the year, exceeding analysts’ expectations.
The airline also improved its seat occupancy rate, while revenues rose 5.2 per cent to 25.6 billion euros.
Chief executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta said that the benefits of the company’s restructuring plan were being to show. “Most importantly, it was a year in which our fundamentals were restored, as the first, necessary step towards the recovery of our group,” he said.
“In 2013 we will maintain strict discipline in terms of capacity management, investments and costs. 2013 will also see the full implementation of all our projects. It is therefore a crucial year for the success of the Transform plan, and the return to sustainable profitability,” he said.
Air France-KLM is seeking to cut costs by 2 billion euros by 2015. Apart from shrinking its fleet and cutting back on planned investment, the group has announced plans to cut 5,122 jobs on the Air France side, mostly through voluntary redundancies and not replacing departing workers.