Author: Eric Salard

LONDON – Air France-KLM has this week announced their performance results for September 2018.

These figures have been seen as quite significant, especially with the airline aiming to improve its business performance after staff strikes and a management change-up.

The group carried a total of 9.1 million passengers last month across the group’s various airline brands, which is a 2.7% increase compared to the same period last year.

Load factors were recorded at 88.6%, representing a 0.2% increase. 

It is significant news that the group is on the up, especially with the appointment of Benjamin Smith as the new Chief Executive last month.

Smith has faced the task of overcoming the staff strikes, which has cost the group up to $400 million.

Pierre Willot, Fund Manager at Paris-based firm Montaigne Capital highlighted to Reuters where AF/KL were the most successful.

“At first sight, the numbers look uninspiring, but decent.

The bright spot is Transavia, with fairly solid numbers. This low-cost subsidiary now represents 1.7 million passengers for the month compared to 9.1 million for the AF-KLM group in September.

This is definitely one of the assets that could help Air France to become structurally profitable.”

The French state currently has a 14% stake in the group, so it will be relieving for the Macron administration that the numbers are slowly on the rise. 

Delta Airlines and China Eastern Airlines, who both hold an 8.8% stake in the group will also be relieved that its investments are on its way to a significant return.

In all, if Smith can maintain these levels of positivity, then AF/KL may be able to get over what has been a very turbulent period for them.

It will be interesting to see what the monthly reports will produce going towards the end of the year.