Paris – the biggest French airline, Air France, reported losses in their incomes of around €50 million –$54 million– in November. The losses are due to flight cancellations and a dip in bookings since the November 13th Paris attacks that killed 130 people.
Pierre-François Riolacci, Air France Chief Financial Officer said over a conference call that the attacks had noticeably affected traffic going to and coming from the French capital. Riolacci also noted that travelers from Japan and North America are particularly avoiding Paris since mid-November.
The airline explained they reached into conclusion thanks to a measure called load factor, a key measure that looks at the percentage of seats filled on average. After the attacks the percentage decreased by 0.9 points, after having increased 2.7 points two weeks before the attacks.
On the other hand, after a major increased in security measures at Charles de Gaulle airport after the attacks, the company’s cargo activity was down 11.3 percent this month.
Even though reservations were noticeably down in the immediate aftermath of the attacks with many travelers avoiding the city or canceling existing travel plans, ticket sales were now back to normal. The CFO claimed that passengers were booking trips for January, February and March next year.
Facing a cut in the flights has not been the only problem Air France has had after the terrorist attacks. On Monday, a flight from San Francisco heading to Paris had to be diverted to Montreal after an unspecified anonymous threat. All passengers landed and disembarked safely.
At least 15 fire trucks and police cars met Flight 83 at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport. Authorities verified the aircraft, passengers and baggage and declare it had been a false alarm. Air France said an investigation would be carried out into the origin of the threat.
This was not the first time Air France go through a false threat. On November 17th, flight with from Washington D.C. to Paris with 262 people aboard received a false threat phoned into the airline and the plane had to changed course to Halifax, Canada.
Not everything has been negative news from Air France. They also announced the airline will resume flights to Tehran for the first time in more than seven years. Flights three times a week will be offered starting in April.
“Air France is illustrating its ambition to expand in a country with buoyant growth, as the European Union is Iran’s fourth most important economic partner,” the airline said in an statement.
Air France operated flights to Tehran from 1946 until October 2008. Flights were suspended because of amid U.N. and EU sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program. Now the service will be restore following a hard-fought deal to limit its nuclear activities.
Source: VICE News