It’s understood Ben Smith, CEO of Air France KLM, has announced internally that the company is losing €25 million per day.
The losses would be greater still were it not for the unemployment measures introduced by the French government. These have saved Air France some €1.1 billion from its payroll bill for 2020.
News of this development was reported by Les Echos (paywall applies) which says that despite the savings already made Air France KLM needs help from the French and the Netherlands’ governments to escape bankruptcy.
Even then it will take two years for Air France KLM to return to normal operations.
Ben Smith is believed to have said that at this rate [losing €25 million a day] the company has only enough cash to survive until early June.
And crucially this would only be on the basis of not having to refund the unused tickets (those which had already been purchased by customers) for thousands of cancelled flights.
Unfortunately the losses mean that, when Air France does restart operations, fans of the A380 are not expected to see the superjumbo in service until 2021.
Even then Air France will have fewer A380s in its fleet because, as Business Traveller reported in 2018, the airline was intending to halve its superjumbo fleet.
It also means that Air France’s four-engined A340s (which had latterly been deployed by its former Joon subsidiary) and the carrier’s ‘baby’ A319s will be withdrawn from the fleet.