Air France-KLM Looking to Raise New Funds as US Bookings Rise
Air France-KLM is looking at raising new funds not long after completing a share issue earlier this year, all in light of a major bookings’ surge caused by the reopening of US to Europeans.
"We did at our annual general meeting in May request from our shareholders flexibility on how we could look to recapitalise the group. We are studying right now what some of the options are, what some of the tools could be to be able to do just that. We are expecting to place another recapitalisation in the coming months“, CEO - Ben Smith commented.
In April, Smith said Air France-KLM may raise more capital to reduce debt as travel begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Indeed, recovery can especially be seen in airlines recently, given that the United States said it would reopen itself to travellers from 33 countries, including most of Europe, who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The North Atlantic is one of the most important markets for Europe's long-haul carriers, but business travel, which makes up a large share of profits, has been hit hard so far. Air France-KLM expects to benefit from demand from large corporate customers and others eager to travel to renew business contacts, but Smith believes it is so far too early to say whether it will result in sustained recovery.
The head of the group's French network - Anne Rigail, said earlier on Wednesday that Air France was already beginning to see some recovery in business travel on domestic routes, however.
"We are seeing some signs in particular on domestic routes, with some conferences taking place especially in the south of France, but we are still very far from 2019 levels at this stage”, she said.
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