Air France-KLM plunges to huge loss in pandemic-hit year

PARIS (AP) — French-Dutch airline group Air France-KLM says it plunged to a 7.1 billion euro ($8.5 billion) loss in 2020 as the global pandemic grounded planes and halted travel plans worldwide. Passenger numbers slumped by 67%. CEO Ben Smith said Thursday that 2020 “tested the Air France-KLM Group with the most severe crisis ever experienced by the air transport industry.” Both the French and Dutch governments pledged billions in support last year to help the carriers survive the brutal downturn in air traffic. Smith says the carriers are looking for an improvement in 2021 “as soon as vaccination is deployed on a large scale and borders once again reopen.”