The survival of the Air France-KLM air alliance, a group affected by the covid-19 pandemic, is not assured if the current economic crisis continues, Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra said Sunday.
“It is not automatic” that survival, explained Hoekstra in an interview with the Dutch public television NPO, when he recalled the importance of reducing costs.
France and Holland each have 14% of the French-Dutch group that the airline Air France forms with KLM.
The French government agreed last spring to 7 billion euros (USD 8.4 billion) in aid to Air France in the form of loans. The Netherlands did the same with KLM for an amount of 3.4 billion euros (USD 4.08 billion).
This aid must be accompanied by a “global restructuring plan” and an improvement in the “competitiveness” of the company, according to the terms of these contributions.
Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on Sunday that he had insisted in his talks with the company on the need to “change course”.
The Air France-KLM group suffered a loss of 2,600 million euros in the second quarter, due to the collapse of air traffic caused by the coronavirus epidemic. In the first three months of the year it had already lost 1.8 billion.
Air France announced that it was going to cut 7,580 jobs before the end of 2022, and KLM up to 5,000 jobs.