KLM ends 2021 with a profitable fourth quarter

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines issued this financial statement:

In line with the third quarter, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines succeeded in closing the fourth quarter of 2021 at a profit. Operational profits amounted to €127 million. This shows that recovery is persisting, despite worldwide restrictions that continue to hamper travel. For the year 2021 as a whole, KLM has reported a loss of €227 million, representing a significant improvement in comparison with the figures for 2020 when KLM suffered a loss of €1,154 million.

Fourth-quarter revenues in 2021 amounted to €2,038 million compared to €1,136 million in the same quarter of 2020. Revenues for the year as a whole rose to €6,065 million compared to €5,120 million in 2020. Of the €3.4 billion loan package, nothing was drawn in 2021. Thus, up until now a total of €942 million was drawn.

The year 2021 consisted of two distinct parts. The first half of the year was sharply negative with travel restrictions, a lockdown, the double test requirement et cetera, resulting in €522 million operating loss. In contrast, the second half of the year was one of recovery and showed a positive operating result in the third and fourth quarters of €295 million. Again this year, the KLM result was supported by a substantial NOW contribution, for which KLM is very grateful to the Dutch government.

Positive booking trend

KLM welcomed a total of 5.2 million passengers on board in the fourth quarter of 2021. KLM and Transavia showed a positive booking trend for both the autumn and Christmas holiday periods. Additionally, more business travelers – especially from the small and medium-sized business community – took to the skies again in the fourth quarter. At the same time, uncertainties prevailed about the rapidly changing entry requirements, including the different booster requirements coupled with supplementary testing and quarantine obligations for vaccinated travelers. Meanwhile, many countries are easing restrictions and mandatory testing. This is helping the further recovery. At the same time, there are still countries where strict travel restrictions apply, such as in Asia.

Cargo contributed significantly towards more favorable results over the past year. Cargo revenues rose by 29% in 2021. Engineering & Maintenance also managed to improve operational profits despite falling revenues as a result of a decrease in demand for third-party maintenance.

These figures reflect KLM’s resilience. After weathering close to two years of crisis, the signs of recovery that emerged in the third quarter of 2021 have persisted thanks to the loyalty of our customers and the enormous efforts of our KLM colleagues. This gives energy for the long road to full recovery that still lies ahead. I’m confident we will succeed in doing just that.”
KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers