Air France-KLM Group has recorded record revenues for 2023, despite seeing a loss in Q4 amid increasing costs and disruption from the conflict in the Middle East. 

The airline group, one of the largest in the world, reported a revenue of €30bn ($32.4bn) for the full year, its highest ever, in its annual earnings as well as an operating result of €1.71bn thanks to strengthening passenger numbers as the industry continues its recovery from pandemic losses. 

However, the company also acknowledged a difficult end to the year with an operating result for Q4 that was €56m lower than for the same period in 2022, citing a €65m hit to its earnings from geopolitical situations in Africa and the Middle East alongside an increase of the unit cost. 

CEO Benjamin Smith said: “In 2023, we delivered on our commitment to strong operational and financial performance, while also maintaining our position as a benchmark airline Group for sustainability. Among our major achievements, we can be satisfied of our efforts to further strengthen our balance sheet and restore the Group’s equity.” 

While some of the issue that hit the company in the latter part of 2023 are beginning to resolve, the group’s Air France airline returned to Tel Aviv in January after pausing flights to Israel in October, the group still acknowledged likely disruptions for its Q1 2024 earnings. 

In response to the unexpected drop for Q4 and lingering concerns for the year ahead, Air France-KLM’s share price dramatically dropped more than 10%, before settling around a 9% drop, highlighting a wider worry for the aviation industry which has been reporting supply chain issues affecting the delivery of aircraft. 

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Notably, while passenger numbers increased by 12% for the group from 2022, it is still yet to reach pre-pandemic numbers, recording 93.6m passengers in 2023 and 104.2m in 2019, with the company’s finance chief Steven Zaat citing the need to increase capacity.