On April 19, 2021, Air France-KLM Group CEO Ben Smith said the airline expected to run at least 50% of its international air travel capacity for the summer season 2021.
“We are looking at least 50% capacity that we will have in a market for this summer,” Ben Smith, chief executive of Air France-KLM Group said during the World Aviation Festival Virtual event. “But we are ready if there is demand for us to fly more and be able to cash positive.”
Air France-KLM Group chief executive said that “there is limited visibility” for the airline’s swift recovery, as Air France-KLM is “extremely” dependent on long-haul operations which have taken a massive step back due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Air France-KLM expects that most of the long-haul operations, especially in the North Atlantic market, will be opened with the help of international health passports, as the acceleration of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Europe and across the world gives more hope for the airline’s network and travel reboot.
Additionally, Air France-KLM may seek to raise more capital in order to reduce debt and bolster its balance sheet, as a 1 billion share issue backed by the French government nears completion.
“We do have heavy debt that is holding back our balance sheet, so this may have to get looked at again later in the year,” Smith explained.