KLM further reduces its winter schedule

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has issued this statement:

Owing to adjusted travel warnings, prompting Code Orange (essential travel only) designations for the UK, Spain, parts of France and other countries, the planned upscaling of KLM’s European network in September has been put on hold. The quarantine rules in the United Kingdom have had a particularly marked impact on KLM’s network. For the period thereafter, KLM will keep close tabs on the developing situation with regard to travel warnings issued by the authorities in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, KLM’s winter schedule will be a lot more restricted than it was in the same period last year. The timetable for the European network in November is currently around 55% of capacity in 2019.

KLM was gradually and responsibly expanding its European and intercontinental network, after the corona crisis had prompted severe restrictions on destinations and frequencies. KLM’s primary aim is to offer customers the widest range of destinations, after which we will consider increasing the number of frequencies or expanding capacity by deploying larger aircraft.

In August, KLM served almost 100% of its European network in terms of destinations, with capacity at approximately 60% compared to pre-coronavirus levels. Effective October 25, 2020, KLM will begin operating daily flights to the Polish city of Poznan.

Intercontinentally, KLM served 80% of its destinations at 60% capacity. At present, a third of these intercontinental flights are carrying cargo only. This means seat capacity is way down. KLM will carry passengers on these flights again as soon as local travel regulations allow.

From the beginning of September, KLM will resume a twice-weekly service to the Chinese city of Hangzhou, flying via Seoul Incheon in South Korea. KLM will also operate a twice-weekly service to Cairo. Riyadh will also be added to the KLM network as a new destination (original start was September 26th, but is now scheduled for December 7th). On October 29, KLM will also start a circle flight to add Edmonton back to the Canadian network. The flight will depart to Calgary, then call at Edmonton and fly back to Amsterdam.

Slot Waiver

It is good news that the European Commission has announced the extension of the so-called ‘slot waiver’ to the entire winter timetable. It will enable KLM to respond more adequately to the rapidly changing market conditions as a result of COVID-19, even during the winter season. In addition to the financial impact, operating less well-filled flights would also be undesirable from a sustainability perspective.

KLM aircraft photo gallery: