Air France-KLM Group has decided to cut down its capacity by 70-90 per cent due to a sharp decline in traffic and sales in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. The airline company said in a statement that the reduction in capacity will lead to the grounding of biggest jets including entire Airbus 380 and Boeing 747 fleet.
The airline group said that the capacity reduction is currently to last two months and it will continue to monitor the evolving situation on a daily basis. France has declared a Level 3 public health emergency which requires closure of all non-essential services, leading to a strong downward trend and drop in traffic over the last few weeks.
“The Air France-KLM Group is obliged to gradually reduce its flight activity very significantly over the next few days, with the number of available seat kilometres (ASK) potentially decreasing between -70% and -90%,” said the company in a statement.
The company said that it has already taken exceptional measures to secure its cash flow which includes identifying additional saving measures which will generate 200 million euros in 2020. The Group added that Air France and KLM will be consulting with their elected employee representatives on measures to take into account the impact of the expected decline in the activity.
“The deterioration of the environment linked to the epidemic and the sharp reduction in its activity...lead the group to forecast a sharply deteriorated financial trajectory,” said the company in a statement.
It also welcomed the statements of French and Dutch governments where they indicated to support the group through all possible means during the crisis situation. According to the latest report, France has confirmed 5,423 cases of the novel coronavirus with the death toll standing at 127. Europe has become the epicentre of COVID-19 and Italy has been worst-hit due to the deadly virus with 368 fatalities within a day, bringing the overall toll to 1,809.