PARIS, April 30 Air France-KLM
narrowed its losses in the first quarter on the back of cost
cuts and lower fuel prices, and announced a breakthrough
contract in China for its maintenance business, the France-Dutch
group's only profitable division.
Europe's second-largest network carrier by revenue
reaffirmed its financial targets for the year in the face of
"tough" conditions, as first-quarter operating losses declined
to 445 million euros ($615 million) from 532 million a year
Revenue rose 2.2 percent to 5.554 billion euros, and EBITDA
losses (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
amortisation) more than halved to 50 million.
"We weren't helped by the economic climate, nor did it get
worse, but there is no oxygen from that side of our business,"
Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac said.
Air France-KLM said it had won a contract worth over $1
billion from Air China to maintain 20 Boeing
777 aircraft in China in a deal that could be extended to eight
De Juniac told reporters Air France expected to sign a
codeshare agreement with Air Berlin in the coming weeks
and did not rule out re-investing in Italian carrier Alitalia,
which is now negotiating with Abu Dhabi's Etihad after Air
France let its shareholding slide last year.
Air France-KLM's position on Alitalia has not changed, he
($1 = 0.7237 Euros)
(Reporting by Cyril Alymeyer, Tim Hepher; Editing by James