Air France-KLM returns to profit

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Air France-KLM said Wednesday it returned to profit in its second quarter, taking advantage of an improved situation in the civil aviation sector as a whole to raise its financial targets.

The carrier reported net earnings of 290 million euros (392 million dollars) in the June-September period after a loss of 147 million euros a year earlier.

At the operating level, reflecting core activities, the company earned 576 million euros against a loss of 47 million in the same period of 2009.

Sales rose 18.6 percent to 6.64 billion euros.

Air France-KLM took a heavy hit last year in the global recession, which cut deeply into passenger and freight traffic.

In response, the company undertook severe capacity cutbacks, restructured its freight business and carried out a cost-cutting campaign on short- and medium-haul flights.

The company is now looking ahead to an operating profit of more than 300 million euros in its financial year to March 2011.

For the full fiscal year 2009 Air France-KLM suffered an operating loss of 1.28 billion euros.

© 2010 AFP

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