May 11, 2018 / 12:42 PM / 6 months ago

Air France KLM shares rebound as higher load factor helps offset weaker traffic figures

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Air France-KLM is seen during the company's 2014 First-Half results presentation in Paris July 25, 2014. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - Air France KLM (AIRF.PA) shares rose sharply on Friday, recovering from six previous days of losses, as traders and fund managers said that an increase in its load factor had helped offset overall weak traffic figures for April.

Air France KLM shares were up 6.3 percent at 7.52 euros (6.6 pounds) in late-session trading, although the stock remains down by around 45 percent since the start of 2018.

Earlier on Friday, the airline had said traffic had fallen 2.6 percent in April, blaming a wave of strikes over pay conditions at the French brand that last week forced the chief-executive of the Franco-Dutch group to resign.

Nevertheless, the company added that its load factor - a measure of how full are the planes flown by an airline - had progressed by 0.4 percentage points.

“The load factor has still managed to increase. It shows that the company is able to re-adjust its offer to the changing demands,” said a Geneva-based fund manager.

Jean-Marc Janaillac said last Friday that he was resigning as Air France KLM CEO following the rejection by staff of a pay deal that he had put to a vote, after talks with the unions reached a deadlock.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Bate Felix

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