Air Transport World

Airline of the Year: Air France-KLM Group.(ATW Airline Achievement Awards)

Remarkable may be the only word to describe the transformation of Air France Group, now Air France-KLM Group, over the past decade as it has climbed steadily into the corporate stratosphere, simultaneously exploiting geographic and national advantages while staking its future on a philosophy of aggressive global growth--the kind of strategy that many had considered impossible in the rapidly maturing network airline industry.

Despite the string of external calamities that have befallen the industry in the new millennium, AF has achieved a consistent and enviable track record of earnings, posting cumulative profits for the financial years ended March 31, 1999-March 31, 2004, of 1.39 billion [euro]. Over the same period, revenues rose by a third from 9.1 billion [euro] to 12.3 billion [euro] while debt/equity ratio improved from 0.81 to 0.62. Even before its historic merger with KLM last May, it overtook British Airways and Lufthansa to become Europe's largest airline in terms of passenger traffic.

Although net income dipped to 93 million [euro] in the year to last March 31, largely owing to well-known external factors that shook the industry in 2003, the company is enjoying a strong recovery in its current financial year. …

Log in to your account to read this article – and millions more.