Air France-KLM eyes further recapitalisation in 2021 - CEO

Chief Executive Ben Smith signalled that it could move relatively quickly to raise more capital

  
An Air France Airbus A350 airplane lands at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Roissy, near Paris, France April 2, 2021.

An Air France Airbus A350 airplane lands at the Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Roissy, near Paris, France April 2, 2021.

REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS - Air France-KLM may seek to raise more capital to reduce debt and bolster its balance sheet as travel demand recovers from the pandemic later this year, Chief Executive Ben Smith said on Monday.

Smith, addressing an online industry event as a 1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) share issue by the airline group nears completion, signalled that it could move relatively quickly to raise more capital.

"We do have heavy debt that is holding back our balance sheet, so this may have to get looked at again later in the year," he said, adding that Air France-KLM currently plans to run at 50% capacity for the summer but still hopes to add more.

($1 = 0.8317 euros)

(Reporting by Laurence Frost, editing by Louise Heavens) ((laurence.frost@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 4949 5683 @Laurence_Frost DMs on; Reuters Messaging: N/A))

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