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AF/KLM cargo up in 2018 despite pilots strikes

Air France/KLM cargo up in 2018 despite pilots strikes

EUROPEAN airfreight carrier Air France/KLM achieved a 6.4 per cent improvement in cargo revenues last year, writes Thelma Etim.

In its latest financial report, the cargo carrier admits that the trading environment “proved better than expected – particularly over the summer period, and the Asian and American networks made a strong contribution to the results.”

The market in 2018 proved in the end to be one which enjoyed “a stable cargo network capacity,” it says.

Higher yields in both full freighter operations and in its belly-hold carryings resulted in an overall unit revenue increase of 5.2 per cent, reveals the corporate statement.

The news comes after the Franco-Dutch airline announced it has signed a new agreement with pilots’ union SNPL, which represents 75.9 per cent of the votes.

Last April, Air France was forced to cancel hundreds of flights on the fifth day of pay strikes by pilots, cabin crew and ground staff, in an industrial action which cost the airline some US$385 million.

Commenting on the carrier’s financial results, Benjamin Smith, chief executive of Air France-KLM, states: “The strong performance of our front-line teams and continued cost control helped partly offset the impact of strikes at Air France in the first half of the year, as well as significant fuel headwinds.

“In the past five months, we have made significant progress in reinforcing the trust and dialogue with our employees in both Air France and KLM, allowing for a shared strategic approach to accelerate the group’s profitable development. I am particularly pleased that yesterday we reached the last step in this phase, the majority of Air France pilots having approved the proposed categorical agreement.”

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