KLM boss: 2022 year of transition, then recovery to pre-crisis level

Photo: ANP

For airline KLM, part of Air France-KLM, 2022 will be a transition year in which the recovery from the crisis will continue. After that, the activities will grow again to pre-crisis levels. That expectation creates the outgoing CEO of KLM Pieter Elbers in an explanation of the annual figures of the group. He points out, however, that not everything will remain the same. “But the demand for travel and mobility remains,” says Elbers.

For example, according to Elbers, KLM is committed to operating more sustainably. The group does this, for example, by adding biofuels as required. KLM is also renewing its fleet. The trusted Boeing 737s with which KLM and Transavia operate the shorter and medium-haul flights will eventually be replaced by new, more fuel-efficient aircraft from Airbus. The first of those devices will be delivered at the end of 2023. There is a fear among staff that with the switch to Airbus, maintenance of the aircraft will be more in Paris. Elbers emphasizes that no choice has yet been made for the engines that will soon be screwed under the wings of the Airbuses. “I also foresee that there is still plenty of work to be done on the Boeings in the near future,” said Elbers.

The KLM CEO previously announced that he would not be running for a third term as CEO of KLM as of next year. The KLM boss does not want to say too much about his succession. “The decision was made in a timely manner so that the follow-up process can be carried out carefully. But I don’t want to speculate.” It is known that Elbers stood up for the Dutch interests within parent company Air France-KLM. That would have caused friction at the parent company’s headquarters in Paris.

KLM ended 2021 with an operating loss of 227 million euros. That represented a solid improvement compared to the operating deficit of more than 1.1 billion euros a year earlier. In the closing quarter of 2021, KLM’s result was EUR 127 million positive, after an already slightly positive third quarter. The revival was partly due to the reopening of the borders in the United States. Elbers also sees that sentiment in important destinations in Asia is turning for the better. This is happening in Singapore and South Korea, among others. “It is also positive that the color coding in the Netherlands is going to yellow and that the quarantine obligation has been lifted. The next step towards recovery is that the PCR test obligation for vaccinated travelers traveling from outside the EU to the Netherlands will be lifted,” said Elbers.

All in all, according to Elbers, “normalization” will take place in 2022. “We have had two incredible crisis years. 2020 was very bad. 2021 pretty good given the circumstances. The recovery continues,” he said.

KLM boss: 2022 year of transition, then recovery to pre-crisis level
Source link KLM boss: 2022 year of transition, then recovery to pre-crisis level

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