Air France-KLM is cutting its balance sheet, but the situation in the aviation sector is worrying, Company news

Air France-KLM shareholders responded. ” The operation was oversubscribed with a subscription rate of approximately 116%. welcomed the Franco-Dutch carrier in a press release announcing the result of a €2.256 billion go-to-market. This bet, which caused the title to fall on the day it was announced, was as important as it was bold because it was made one year after a major fundraising of one billion euros.” The success of our capital increase is a clear demonstration of the confidence our existing shareholders and new investors have in Air France-KLM’s future. General manager Ben Smith says.

CMA CGM owns 9% of the shares

The operation is accompanied by a reconfiguration of the funding round. The states of France and the Netherlands, which retained their shares, still top the group with 28.6% and 9.3%, respectively. China Eastern Airlines and Delta Air Lines are diluted, owning only 4.7% and 2.9% versus 9.6% and 5.8% previously. The operation is, first of all, an opportunity for the world’s third Marseille shipowner CMA CMG to enter the capital of Air France-KLM: he now owns 9% of the shares. In accordance with the decision taken at the general meeting, CMA CGM CEO Rodolphe Saade will soon join the carrier’s board of directors for a term of four years.

The funds raised will be used up to €1.7 billion to repay super-subordinated securities issued in spring 2021 and €0.6 million to reduce net debt, which peaked at €7.7 billion on 31 March. By easing its balance sheet, Air France-KLM is gradually being released from one of the restrictions imposed by the European Commission, which prevents it from participating in sector consolidation until Air France and its holding company recover 75% of the state aid received. Reimbursement of aid will continue over the next few quarters, the group adds, which confirms it is aiming for an operating margin of 7% to 8% by 2024. in the context of expected performance improvements. »

The threat of a strike loomed

However, clouds are gathering in the very short term. If the desire to travel has persisted, even increased tenfold at the end of the health crisis, then employees who were at the forefront of layoff plans in 2020 and 2021 are now sorely lacking at airports and carriers. French EasyJet pilots have just sounded the alarm. In a letter addressed to the group’s management and made public by the British media Inyoswarn of the risk of massive flight cancellations due to staff shortages,” mostly among stewardesses and stewards and a little among captains. EasyJet is not the only one affected by this situation. On June 9, the German company Lufthansa announced the cancellation of about 900 domestic and European flights scheduled for Fridays and weekends in July to and from Frankfurt and Munich, two major airports, meaning 5% of seats are open for booking. In May, the Dutch company KLM was forced to cancel dozens of flights due to staff shortages. The deterioration of the social context leads to strike movements. On June 9, employees of the Roissy-Charles de Gaulle were called to strike. A new promotion is expected in early July during vacation trips. In the stock market, this situation is detrimental to carrier companies. This Tuesday, Air France-KLM is down nearly 10% at noon.