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Air France-KLM net loss soars to $1.49 billion on fuel and job-cut costs

PARIS – Costs associated with cutting jobs, higher fuel prices and weakness in Europe have combined to swell losses at airline Air France-KLM.

The Paris-based company said Friday its net loss soared to €1.13 billion (US$1.49 billion) in 2012 from €809 million the year before.

However, it says it performed better at the operating level, trimming losses to €300 million from €353 million as it made more revenue from each seat, particularly on North American routes.

The Franco-Dutch airline, which is one year into a three-year turnaround plan, says it is hoping to strengthen its position this year by paying down debt and reducing staff costs further.

Air France-KLM is struggling to compete against low-cost carriers and has said it expects to cut about 5,000 people in its workforce of 49,000.