In early February, Air France-KLM canceled all flights to and from China. As the virus made it across the globe, the airline reduced operations due to falling passenger and cargo demands. The losses kept growing, and the airline now needs direct support from both the Dutch and France governments. As said by the Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith, the airline is losing €25 million every day if the airline does not have to refund the unused tickets. That figure will be far worse if they do. The losses will add up and, according to Business Insider, the companies funds will keep the airline running up to early June.
The bankruptcy of the airline would be devastating for the French and Dutch economy, and the airline group will need direct support from both governments to survive. In a statement from CEO Ben Smith, ''The Air France-KLM group, Air France and KLM are conducting in-depth discussions with their respective governments and financial institutions to have the resources that will enable them to secure and support adequate liquidity levels, by all means''. Air France-KLM is one of the largest airline groups in the world, and its subsidiaries provide service to many nations. KLM, formed in 1919, is also the oldest airline in the world since the bankruptcy of Chalk's Ocean Airways, founded in 1917. Will the COVID-19 Pandemic be the end for aviation travel as we know it?