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Air France-KLM said bookings indicated a resilient start to the year thanks to a recovery in demand from passengers in Asia and Latin America in the first quarter.

However, the airline reported its operating loss widened to €143m in the first quarter from a €99m loss in the same period last year.

Earlier this year the struggling Franco-Dutch airline promised to cut costs and boost passenger capacity in an effort to “regain the offensive” in the lucrative long-haul market.

The company said unit cost reduction was on track, down 1.7 per cent.

Air France KLM reported a 5.2 per cent increase in passengers carried during the quarter to 20.9m.

The results come amid turmoil in the industry, with Italian rival Alitalia forced into administration on Tuesday after being hobbled by its high cost base and rising competition from low-cost rivals in the European market, especially Ryanair.

Speaking to the Financial Times last year, Jean-Marc Janaillac, the group chief executive, warned that if his company did not change to be more competitive it would “end up like Alitalia”.

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