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Air France drags down KLM again

MD-11 KLMPARIS: For the first nine months of 2014, Air France-KLM lost €514 million – down from minus €651 million in the same period last year.

Europe's second largest airline group has now lost over €4 billion since 2009 with the latest results hit by an Air France pilot strike, that the company says cost it €330 million, as its operating result fell from €641 million to €247 million in the third quarter compared to 2013.

Revenue for the first nine months fell 3.6 percent to €18.7 billion year-on-year; the operating result fell €153 million to €40 million; and the net debt fell €75 million to €5.27 billion. Free cash flow compared to the same period last year fell from +€496 million to -€75 million.

Cargo revenue fell 9.4 percent in the third quarter to €623 million year-on-year and revenue for the first nine months fell 6.0 percent to €1.96 billion. Losses for the quarter increased €18 million to €102 million while nine month losses remained almost the same as 2013 at €181 million.

In addition to the pilot's strike during the quarter, KLM abruptly terminated its president and CEO Camiel Eurlings and replaced him with his deputy, COO Pieter Elbers, as the company continues to celebrate 95 years of commercial flying.

Air France-KLM, whose CEO and CFO are both French, also announced the company's 'Transform 2015' cost-reduction program would be succeeded by a 'Perform 2020' plan in a bid to return to profitability – and possibly avoid reporting future financial results as two airlines, not one.

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