Air France-KLM has seen a 96% fall in profit for its second quarter as the economic slow down, the rise in oil prices and a weak US dollar all begin to bite.


Releasing its results for the first half ending September 30, the airline revealed a profit of €28 million as opposed to €736 million in the second quarter of 2007.


Air France-KLM chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta said the biggest change in operating costs during the second quarter had been 35.3% increase in the airline’s fuel bill which saw it increase by €422 million to €1.61 billion.


The fall in the second quarter’s profits also heavily affected the airline’s first half profits, down 82.9% from €1,151 million to €196 million.


Spinetta added while the deterioration of the economy has accelerated since the summer, the airline is ready to meet any further challenges.


He said: “Nevertheless, our flexibility has allowed us to respond rapidly to adjust capacity, enabling us to continue to maintain high load factors.


“Moreover, the generation of an additional €260 million in savings this year will help us stabilise our costs and protect our profitability.


“The group is committed to making the most of its competitive advantages and I am confident we will emerge stronger from the current crisis.”