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Air France-KLM warns of first annual loss

Europe's largest carrier said it expected to post operating losses of 200 million euros for the year ending March. This would be the first loss for the Franco-Dutch group since the two airlines merged in 2003.


AFP - Air France-KLM, Europe's biggest airline, said Thursday it expected a 200-million-euro (270-million-dollar) operating loss for its financial year, which runs to the end of the month.

It would be the first time the group has posted a loss since its creation by a merger of Air France and Dutch group KLM in 2003.

"The evolution of the net result will depend on the valuation of hedging instruments based on market values at March 31, 2009," the airline said in a statement.

It said that like other airlines, it has suffered from a sustained decline in activity since the beginning of 2009 due to the deepening financial crisis.  "Financial year 2009-10 will begin in a context of unprecedented difficulty, with little visibility on how the economy will evolve and on the volatility of factors such as currencies and the oil price," chief executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon said in the statement.

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