Air France-KLM to Exit Historic Paris HQ Leased From City

posted on 20th April 2022 by Eddie Saunders
Air France-KLM to Exit Historic Paris HQ Leased From City

By Tara Patel, Bloomberg News

Air France-KLM is poised to quit the central Paris headquarters established by the group’s French arm after World War II.

The firm will ask shareholders meeting on May 24 to back the move from the 3,800 square-meter (41,000 square-foot) site near the Invalides monument to new offices across the Seine River in the area of France’s presidential palace, according to resolutions published in advance.

An airline spokesman said the transfer is set for July.

The building dates to the 1900 Paris Exposition or world’s fair, and is being taken back by city authorities to be transformed into an exhibition space, children’s museum, food hall and public area leading to a commuter-train station.

After opening the base in 1946, Air France initially used it to check in passengers before transporting them to Le Bourget airport outside the capital.

Customer services that were still operating there shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, though the plan to reinvent the space was put on hold.

The move comes as Air France-KLM explores ways to pay back aid granted at the height of the crisis.

The group, now 29% owned by the French government with the Dutch state holding 9.3%, has set out options to raise 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion) that include a rights issue, quasi-equity instruments and the refinancing of 500 million euros in assets.