Air France Will Restore 90% of Usual U.S. Capacity for Holidays
(Bloomberg) -- Air France-KLM said its French arm will lift U.S. capacity to around 90% of pre-pandemic levels for the year-end holidays after the Biden administration eased border curbs last month.
The Air France unit’s overall offering will climb to 75% during the period, a spokesman told Bloomberg. That’s despite the curtailing of flights to countries like South Africa and Morocco as new restrictions were put in place.
The omicron variant of Covid-19 has plunged airlines into a new period of uncertainty, clouding gains made by European operators including Air France-KLM, IAG SA and Deutsche Lufthansa AG over the summer. The French carrier’s capacity strategy suggest it’s betting travelers will stick with their plans.
Air France-KLM has predicted a return to profitability for the full year and said in October it would offer 70% to 75% of normal group-wide seating for the final three months of the year. That compares with 66% in July-September quarter.
The U.S. is a major source of earnings for the company and Chief Financial Officer Steven Zaat had forecast 90% of 2019 capacity would be reached at the end of the winter season, which runs into March.
Air France-KLM is expected to announce a major order for single-aisle planes in coming days.
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