May 4, 2018 / 5:19 AM / 10 months ago

Air France-KLM reins in profit and growth expectations amidst strikes

A passenger walks as Air France planes are parked on the tarmac at Orly Airport near Paris as Air France pilots, cabin and ground crews unions call for a strike over salaries, France, April 10, 2018. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

BERLIN/PARIS (Reuters) - Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA) said it expected profits to fall this year due to the effect of strikes at its main French unit, which are forcing it to rein in growth and mean it can not take advantage of a generally benign backdrop for airlines.

The group said on Friday - as staff staged a 13th day of strikes - that its first quarter loss widened to 118 million euros (104.2 million pounds), against a restated loss of 33 million euros a year ago.

Overall unit costs in the quarter rose 2.1 percent, of which 1.7 percent was related to the strikes.

Air France-KLM said adjusted unit costs would now rise this year by up to 1 percent, against previous expectations for a drop of 1-1.5 percent. Capacity growth would also now come in at 2.5-3.5 percent, versus previous plans for 3-4 percent growth.

“What I regret is that the year started well in commercial terms, demand was there,” Chief Financial Officer Frederic Gagey told journalists.

Reporting by Victoria Bryan and Cyril Altmeyer; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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