PARIS – Air France-KLM says its losses mounted sharply in the first quarter compared to a year earlier, when earnings were boosted by a gain in the value of oil price hedging contracts the airline uses to manage its fuel costs.
Air France-KLM says it lost 630 million euros ($821 million) in the January-March quarter, compared to a loss of 379 million euros a year earlier. Last year’s result benefited from a 220 million euros gain on the airline’s hedging contracts.
The airline, in the midst of a three-year turnaround plan, says it is hoping to strengthen its position 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.