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Air France-KLM Group fined as cargo traffic falls

KLM 747 new liveryPARIS: France's financial regulator Autorite des Marches Financieres (AMF) has fined the Air France-KLM group and its former CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon €1 million and €40,000 respectively for not providing "accurate, precise and sincere" [information] about the company's financial condition between April 2010 and May 2011.

In a statement, the airline group responded by saying the period under review "had been impacted by a series of exceptional and unforeseeable events which made financial communication particularly difficult: closure of the air space following the eruption of an Icelandic volcano, major disruption of activity at Paris airports following heavy snowfall ('glycol' crisis), rapid rebound in the oil price, Arab spring, tsunami in Japan, etc".

The decision - which the group says it won't appeal - coincides with publication of its February traffic results that saw a 3.1 fall in cargo capacity, a 3.4 percent decline in load factor and an 8.2 percent drop in revenue tonne-kilometres (RTKs) compared to the same month last year.

For the first two months of 2015, RTKs fell 8.1 percent as cargo capacity was reduced 2.4 percent and the load factor dropped 3.7 percent year-on-year.

The latest results presage the temporary appointment of Air France-KLM EVP Bram Gräber to stand in for recently departed group cargo head Erik Varwijk until a permanent appointment can be made. In 2013 Gräber, a current member of Transavia's supervisory board, was replaced as the airline's managing director by Mattijs Ten Brink – a former senior vice president Sales and Distribution for Air France-KLM-Martinair Cargo, and Varwijk colleague.

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