‘I think the best way to do it is with the money’: A Klopstock interview
Klopstra said he was surprised to learn that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had awarded the Air France plane that crashed in Paris an Air Force contract worth more than $8.4 billion, but he said he is hopeful that the airline will ultimately be awarded a full refund for the lost revenue.
Klopstra, who is CEO of the airline, said he would like to be able to use the funds to pay for the plane, but “it will be difficult to find a way to make that happen” as the airline struggles to recover from a string of fatal crashes.
He added that it is difficult to determine whether the Air Force’s decision to award the contract was fair.
“I think it was a fair decision and it was made in a way that was reasonable to the Air Forces,” he said.
“I don’t think the Air force should have made that decision, but it would be a good decision for everybody involved.”
Klapstra said the airline is still “struggling” with the loss of revenue that came from the Air French crash.
The airline, which operated the A330 jet, was carrying 4,700 passengers and 584 crew when it crashed Aug. 22 in the French city of Saint-Denis.
French investigators said the plane was traveling too fast and lost power after it impacted a tree.
Air France CEO Marcel Klopstrap says that, after his company learned the contract for the crashed plane was being awarded to a French Air Force aircraft, he immediately contacted the Federal aviation agency to try to find out if the company was eligible for the refund.
During a phone interview Friday, Klopst said he believes that “the best way” to handle the situation would be for Air France to pay a full fee to the FAA, but added that he was “hopeful that eventually they will be awarded the money.”
He said he expected the FAA to give Air France a full reimbursement for lost revenue from the crash, but the process is still in its early stages.
A spokesman for the Federal agency said it was aware of the incident and was “working with the French authorities.”
The FAA is still reviewing the case, the spokesman said.
While Air France was awarded the contract, Klapstra said it is “still working to recover the money” and that he did not think the airline would be able immediately be reimbursed.
It is unclear whether the Federal government would reimburse Air France for any losses, or if the money would be split between the airline and the French government, the FAA spokesman said, adding that the money was “being handled internally.”
The crash occurred two weeks after the airline announced a $1 billion expansion to its Paris operations.
On Aug. 25, the company’s A320 plane crashed on a flight from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Paris, killing all 224 passengers and crew.