KLM saw the number of travelers rise sharply in the second quarter, reaching 2.2 million.

That was considerably more than the previous quarter and even four times as much as in the second quarter of last year.

This is evident from figures released by the company on Friday.

However, it did not lead to a profit.

The airline had to deal with a loss of 185 million euros.

Discussions are therefore ongoing with the European Commission about new state aid.

The Dutch airline achieved a turnover of 1.207 billion euros between the beginning of April and the end of June.

That was considerably higher than in the same period last year, when turnover remained stable at 701 million.

Not surprising, given that when the pandemic hit the travel industry the hardest.

Compared to the second quarter of 2019, when no one had heard of the corona pandemic, the passenger numbers of the Dutch airline are still significantly lower.

At that time, 9.2 million people boarded a KLM plane.

Corona crisis more erratic than expected

"The results of the first six months show a rather diverse picture, but the first signs of recovery are clearly visible," said KLM CEO Pieter Elbers.

"Particularly in the first months of this year, total passenger traffic experienced a slowdown in recovery."

He adds that the corona crisis is taking longer and is more erratic than expected.

It is for the sixth consecutive quarter that KLM is diving into the red.

The company last made a profit in the fourth quarter of 2019. To keep the airline afloat, strong measures were needed.

Thousands of jobs were cut as a result.

Significant state aid was also necessary, amounting to 3.4 billion euros.

This concerns loans and state guarantees.

That state aid is not yet 100 percent certain.

Budget pilot Ryanair recently decided for the second time to take legal action against the European approval of the state aid.

Talks about new support package for KLM

In the meantime, the Netherlands is discussing the conditions for a new support package for KLM with the European Commission.

According to financial chief Steven Zaat, the signals about an agreement are very hopeful.

Additional capital is needed, as the debts of parent company Air France-KLM still exceed its own assets by 3.6 billion euros.

Air France-KLM closed the second quarter with a loss of almost 1.5 billion euros.

That was more than 1 billion euros less than a year earlier, partly due to cost savings.

Cargo flights also yielded more, now that a lack of containers makes maritime transport expensive.

AF-KLM's turnover last quarter amounted to 2.8 billion euros, more than double the revenue in the disastrous second quarter of 2020.

Number of bookings is increasing again

The group does see some bright spots, because bookings are coming in again this summer, now that Europeans want to go on holiday and vaccinated Americans are welcome in the European Union.

According to Zaat, there is even a profit in the current third quarter, albeit before deduction of taxes, interest payments and depreciation.

The Dutchman also looks hopeful at the heavy rain showers in his native France.

This may convince many people to book a holiday flight to sunnier destinations, he said in an explanation of the figures.

In the third quarter, with the important summer months of July and August, Air France-KLM is expected to fly at 60 to 70 percent of pre-pandemic capacity.

Much further depends on decisions in American politics. Vaccinated Americans are already welcome in the EU, but the other way around, the United States still keeps the borders closed to European travelers because of concerns about the contagious delta variant of the corona virus.