Air France-KLM forecasts profitability boost and better cash generation by 2028  

Markus Mainka /

Shares in the Air France-KLM Group have seen a sharp rise in value after the Franco-Dutch airline group confirmed its outlook through to 2028.  

The financial forecast published by the group lays out new targets between 2024 and 2028, projecting a profitability boost resulting from better cash generation and lower costs by the airline partners. 

By noon on December 14, 2023, Air France-KLM Group shares were trading 7% higher at a per-share value of EUR13.05 ($14.35). This rise in share price represents an increase of 6% since January 2023. 

The group expects its operating profit to improve by 2 billion euros ($2.17 billion) across all areas of its businesses over the next five years, which it forecasts will equate to an operating margin rising above 8% between 2026 and 2028. 

“The Air-France-KLM Group is well positioned to accelerate further and capture the full potential of our group’s assets to deliver sustained and more profitable growth,” said the airline group’s Chief Executive Benjamin Smith.  

“The group expects to focus on reducing costs to deliver a significantly positive adjusted operating free cash flow between 2026 and 2028,” he added.  

Air France-KLM, like other European airlines, has been facing an ongoing struggle with inflation-driven costs that mainly stem from higher salaries, but also rapidly rising air traffic control charges, fuel price fluctuations, and airport fees. The group was also facing cuts due to planned capacity constraints at KLM’s Amsterdam-Schiphol Airport (AMS) for summer 2024 although these plans have since been shelved.  

The group reported fuel costs of EUR1.92 billion ($2.11 bn) for the three months to the end of September 2023, an increase of 15.7% over the EUR1.66 bn ($1.82 bn) it paid for fuel in the second quarter of 2023. 

Notwithstanding its current challenges, the group has said it will continue with its planned fleet renewal program over the coming years, investing an estimated EUR3 bn to EUR3.5 bn ($3.3 bn to $3.85 bn) per year between 2024 and 2026. This amount is then due to increase to EUR3.5 bn to EUR3.8 bn ($3.85 bn to $4.18 bn) per year in 2027 and 2028. 


Air France-KLM announced in October 2023 that it was ordering 50 Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 widebody aircraft, with purchase rights for 40 additional aircraft. The new long-haul widebodied aircraft will replace older planes in the combined group fleet such as KLM’s fleet of Boeing 777-300s.  

Deliveries of these new aircraft are due to commence in 2026 with all 50 aircraft being delivered and in service by 2030.  

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