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Why Air France-KLM Might Want to Ditch Its Freighter Fleet

Why Air France-KLM Might Want to Ditch Its Freighter Fleet
Photograph by Thierry Tronnel/Corbis

Air France-KLM may leave the dedicated air freighter business after five decades, beset by losses in cargo that rose to nearly $300 million last year. Still, express cargo units are generally a high-margin, specialized business that many, many international airlines with large fleets find lucrative despite the economic cycles.

The airline’s board is weighing options and plans to decide on a strategy by September, according to a report in Bloomberg News that cites two people familiar with the plans. Air France-KLM, which also owns the Amsterdam-based Martinair cargo operation, has been paring its fleet of cargo aircraft and now has just 13 freighters. The company would likely continue to ship cargo in its passenger fleet.