World Air France-KLM reports huge Q2 loss, sees signs of recovery
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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — French-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM said Friday that the “first signs of recovery are visible” in bookings amid easing pandemic travel restrictions as it reported a second-quarter net loss of nearly 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion).
The group's fleet of planes carried just over 7 million passengers in the year's second quarter, a rise of 477% compared to the same quarter last year, when strict lockdowns and travel restrictions slammed the brakes on the global aviation industry.
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With many countries now easing those restrictions amid vaccination campaigns, travelers are taking to the skies once more.
"Reciprocity of borders reopening and the acceleration of the vaccination rollout worldwide, especially in the context of the rise of the delta variant, will play a key role in maintaining this momentum.” said group CEO Benjamin Smith.
The carriers said that the easing of restrictions on Americans flying to Europe “also resulted in an improved booking trend.”
However, it didn't give any guidance on expected capacity for the fourth quarter of 2021, citing "the uncertainty of the reopening of the North Atlantic for European citizens and uncertainty concerning travel restrictions waiving."
Revenue for the quarter was 2.75 billion euros ($3.26 billion), up by 132.5% compared to 2020's second quarter.
Far-right and others march against French virus rules
PARIS (AP) — Far-right activists and members of France’s yellow vest movement protested Saturday against a bill requiring everyone to have a special virus pass to enter restaurants and other venues and mandating COVID-19 vaccinations for all health care workers. Legislators in France’s Senate were debating the bill Saturday after the lower house of parliament approved it Friday, as virus infections are spiking and hospitalizations are rising anew. The French government is trying to speed up vaccinations to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals, and avoid new lockdowns.
Air France-KLM plunged to a 7.1 billion-euro loss (around $8.4 billion) in 2020 as the global pandemic triggered a 67% slump in passenger numbers at the group. The French and Dutch governmentsof at least 9 billion euros ($10.6 billion) to ensure they survived the unprecedented downturn.
As part of cost-cutting efforts, the carriers laid off thousands of workers amid the pandemic.
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COVID-19. Corsica triggers "the white plan", allowing to increase hospital capabilities .
© Sebastien Bozon / AFP The white plan makes it possible to mobilize all health personnel to increase the number of beds in resuscitation and hospitalization Covid patients (picture of illustration). Faced with the current outbreak of COVID-19, the Regional Health Agency of Corsica has activated Tuesday, August 3rd the "Regional White Plan" to open up new hospitalization capabilities on the island of beauty. The occupancy rate exceeds 79% in Bastia.