Air France-KLM

InfluenceMap Score
for Climate Policy Engagement
Performance Band
Organization Score
Relationship Score
Paris, France
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: In 2021-22, Air France-KLM has mostly negative engagement with climate-related regulations for aviation in Europe. Air France-KLM appears to have consistently opposed measures to strengthen the EU ETS for aviation, ticket taxes and an EU kerosene tax for aviation while stating top-line support for the EU’s climate targets.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: A July 2021 press release from KLM stated support for the EU's 2050 climate neutrality target, and an April 2021 Climate Pledge, endorsed by Air France-KLM, appeared to support the Paris Agreement. A January 2022 position paper also communicated support for a long-term aspirational goal for aviation through ICAO, without specifying a date. However, in a March 2021 policy paper sent to EU Commission officials, Air-France KLM seemed to stress the negative impact on competitiveness from European climate action on aviation. Additionally, a March 2021 email to DG CLIMA, and an October 2021 email to DG MOVE, obtained by FOI requests, further appeared to emphasize competitiveness concerns over stringent emissions reductions regarding the Fit for 55 package. Similarly, Air France-KLM’s 2021 sustainability report, published in June 2022, appears to state support for the EU’s Green Deal and net-zero CO2 emissions from European aviation by 2050, while emphasizing competitiveness concerns resulting from the Fit for 55 package and leveraging support for CORSIA to oppose more stringent regional measures.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: In its 2020 CSR Report, published in 2021, Air France-KLM stated support for the global CORSIA offsetting scheme for aviation as the “sole vehicle” for global aviation emissions reductions. A January 2021 public consultation response further supported CORSIA to replace the EU ETS for international (EEA to/from non-EEA) and intra-EEA (EEA to/from EEA) flights and opposed a reduction in free emissions allowances. Similarly, Air France-KLM’s 2021 sustainability report, published in June 2022, appeared unsupportive of the extension of the EU ETS to include all international flights, instead advocating for the EU ETS to apply to emissions “not mitigated by CORSIA”. In a March 2021 policy paper emailed to the EU Commission, Air-France KLM appeared to oppose reducing free emissions allowances in the EU ETS, and through the endorsement of the Aviation Alliance in January 2022, the company appeared to advocate for the exemption of intra-EU feeder flights in the EU ETS. Additionally, in a March 2021 email to DG CLIMA, accessed through FOI request, Air France-KLM appeared to support continued free emissions allowances, allocated based on a carrier’s proportion of feeder flights. However, Air France-KLM appeared to conditionally accept a reduction in free allowances under the EU ETS if accompanied by a carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM) in a January 2021 EU consultation response.

Air France-KLM appears to have a mixed position on an EU sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) mandate. In a March 2021 policy paper sent to EU Commission officials, Air-France KLM stated an EU SAF mandate should only be introduced in a “mature market”. According to a May 2021 Reuters article, Air France-KLM CEO, Ben Smith, opposed the application of an EU SAF mandate to long haul flights, emphasizing concerns that it would impede competitiveness with extra-EU airlines. A March 2021 email to DG CLIMA, and a presentation emailed to DG CLIMA in April 2021, accessed via FOI requests, also stressed the risks of tankering and competitive distortion resulting from an EU SAF mandate. More positively, in February 2022 Air France and KLM both signed a joint statement generally supporting the EU's proposed SAF mandate, and advocating for more ambition in the "scale and timing" of its sub-targets for e-kerosene.

More positively, KLM CEO, Marjan Rintel, appeared supportive of a low-carbon modal shift to rail in a December 2022 Financial Times article, stating “if you have a good alternative, you should really use it”.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Air-France KLM appears to have advocated against an EU kerosene tax in a March 2021 policy paper sent to EU Commission officials. KLM's CEO, Pieter Elbers, further stated opposition to such a tax, according to an October 2021 NRC interview. The January 2022 Aviation Alliance declaration, signed by Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith, further appears to oppose an EU kerosene tax, arguing the measure would “have negative impact on Europe’s air transport sector”. An October 2021 email to DG MOVE, accessed via FOI request, also appeared to oppose an EU kerosene tax because it “does not help to make our sector more sustainable”. Additionally, a March 2021 email to DG CLIMA, and a presentation emailed to DG CLIMA in April 2021, obtained by FOI requests, emphasized competitiveness concerns regarding an EU fuel tax.

Regarding ticket taxes, Air France-KLM stated opposition to “fuel taxation, carbon taxation and/or ticket taxation” for aviation in France and the Netherlands in its 2021 CDP response. Emails received by freedom of information request also suggest Air France-KLM lobbied the EU Commission in March 2021 to support a “green stimulus” subsidy scheme for new aircraft purchases. Air France-KLM’s 2021 sustainability report, published in June 2022, echoes support for a “green stimulus” subsidy scheme while appearing to oppose a French fuel tax and the Dutch ticket tax on flights. According to an April 2021 Euractiv article, Air France-KLM also advocated to weaken the French ban on domestic flights. Similarly, in a November 2022 meeting with DG MOVE, obtained via FOI request, Air France-KLM appeared unsupportive of a flight cap at Schiphol airport. Furthermore, according to a Reuters article, in March 2023, KLM, alongside other airlines, announced they were suing the Dutch government over their plans to cap the number of annual flights from Schiphol airport, asserting it would hurt them, the Dutch economy and travellers.

Industry Association Governance: Air France-KLM does not appear to have published a comprehensive list of industry association memberships and has not disclosed a review of its alignment with industry associations. Air France-KLM retains board-level membership of the International Air Transport Association, which has actively lobbied against ambitious global climate policy for aviation. It is also a member of BusinessEurope and Airlines for Europe, which have generally advocated in opposition to stringent European climate policy.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q1 2023.

Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.