Air France-KLM Group said it could be May before its pipeline of forward bookings returns to normal following last month’s terror attacks in Paris, which cost the carrier €50 million in the last few weeks of November alone.
While daily ticket sales have generally recovered from the 13 November killings, a slump in bookings in the immediate aftermath has left thousands of seats unsold stretching into next spring, and it may be three to six months before usual levels are restored, Air France-KLM said in a statement Tuesday.
Passenger traffic fell 0.8 per cent on short- and medium- haul routes in November, the carrier said, while the load factor, a measure of seat occupancy, was down by 0.9 percentage points from a year earlier in the Nov. 14 to Nov. 30 period, after gaining 2.7 points earlier in the month.
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The Japanese market, one of the biggest for tour groups to Paris, has been worst hit, Air France-KLM Chief Financial Officer Pierre-Francois Riolacci said by phone, with the attacks further undermining demand that had slumped since the Jan. 7 assault on the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
North America was also badly affected, whereas the impact on travel from China was minimal since the media there didn’t provide the same blanket coverage, Riolacci said.
The CFO didn’t say how November’s revenue shortfall would affect full-year earnings, for which the carrier hasn’t set a target. A goal of cutting net debt to about €4.4 billion won’t be impacted, he said.
News by Bloomberg, edited by Hospitality Hotel