October 23, 2020


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Elbers: KLM is not a zombie company for business travel information

Elbers: KLM is not a zombie company for business travel information

According to the director, the future of society is not automatic. “It won’t work on its own.” According to him, hard work has to be done based on the business model that has been written and is future proof. However, the business newspaper has reservations about whether KLM should still be viewed as a company when there are still a million losses a day.

Business class
Due to the corona, there are fewer business class passengers on board KLM aircraft. Companies are reluctant to send employees on a journey because they are responsible for their employees. Teams, Skype, Facetime, Zoom and other channels seem to be a sufficient alternative temporarily. Elbers expects these passengers to have fully returned in 2023/2024.

KLM uses half of its aircraft in Europe, and 60 percent on intercontinental flights. The devices are less than half full. Transporting additional cargo offered a solution for some time at the beginning of the corona crisis. Now this demand is also falling, and with it the price per kilo. Additional resuscitation can only occur if a possible coronavacin has to be transported around the world.

Redundancy round
In an interview with the FD, Elbers states that he thinks it is right that Dutch society should demand sacrifices from KLM if the same society is helping to keep society going. KLM is therefore conducting a round of layoffs and facilitating the voluntary departure of people. This often affects employees for whom KLM has been their passion and their life for 30 to 40 years.

When asked whether the statements made by Minister Hoekstra (Financien) Helping the negotiations with the unions by threatening that KLM could also go under, says Elbers: “The minister has set conditions and stated that they must be taken very seriously. I see his statement mainly as a confirmation of the steps we are taking He makes it clear to everyone that we have to deliver. As a company, together with unions and employees. The loans are not a gift. “Negotiations with the unions are currently underway on the basis of three collective bargaining scenarios. According to Elbers, there are strong but healthy discussions with the staff representatives.

When asked if KLM can repay the EUR 3.4 billion loan, he says that is the goal. “That’s why we took out a loan. We want to repay it within five years,” said Elbers. Maintaining the revenue model is important here. “You have to make the money to pay it back.”

Future way
KLM has been on the advance under Elbers for the past five years. Debt has been reduced and the product has been significantly improved. The staff even shared in the profit. The Dutchman took over from the former politician Camiel Eurlings. Elbers used a lot of his knowledge within KLM to build up and expand the route network and to improve the KLM product. Independently as KLM and in cooperation with partners such as Delta, Air France and the Chinese partners within SkyTeam. He and his management are responsible for the growth of KLM, despite the environmental and growth restrictions that Schiphol Airport imposes. After all of this development and improvement, Elber’s skills are required to find a new future path for KLM.