KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has resumed operating services to almost its entire pre-Covid network (one destination excepted). Intercontinental flights will be operating at around 75% of capacity this winter compared to winter 2019.
Now that vaccinated European travelers will again be welcome in the United States starting November 8, KLM will expand capacity to various US destinations. The number of flights to Atlanta, for example, will almost double to 12 a week, and there will be 11 weekly flights to New York JFK this winter.
KLM will also serve Las Vegas and Miami this winter, both three times a week. Service to Minneapolis/St. Paul, which resumed in the summer, will also continue this winter with three weekly flights.
KLM began noticing a sharp rise in demand for travel to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands this summer. That is why the airline is also expanding capacity to the Caribbean and will double the number of flights to Curaçao to 14 a week. It will also boost daily capacity on the route to Aruba and Bonaire by deploying a Boeing 777-300ER, its largest passenger aircraft. To meet anticipated demand during the Christmas holiday season, KLM is planning three additional weekly flights to these islands, bringing the total number of weekly flights to Aruba and Bonaire to ten by the end of the year.
The KLM network is also showing signs of recovery in South America, with four flights a week to San José and Liberia in Costa Rica (up from two last winter) and daily service to Panama City. Capacity on the route to Paramaribo will also increase considerably this winter, with four weekly flights (compared to one last winter due to strict travel restrictions). KLM’s longest scheduled service, nonstop from Amsterdam to Santiago de Chile, will continue this winter with three weekly flights.
This winter will see the introduction of four entirely new destinations: Mombasa, Cancún, Port of Spain and Bridgetown. The first flight to Cancún in Mexico will take off on 2 November, with five weekly flights during the Christmas holiday season. This will bring the total number of weekly KLM flights to Mexico to 12. The first (combined) flight to Port of Spain in Trinidad & Tobago and Bridgetown in Barbados took off on 16 October and will eventually operate three times a week. Scheduled service to Mombasa in Kenya is expected to commence in early December; KLM is currently in the process of obtaining the necessary flight permits from the Kenyan authorities.
KLM’s Asian network is still hampered by travel restrictions. As a result, demand for these flights lags behind those for other regions. The demand for cargo transport to and from Asia remains high, however, allowing KLM to continue serving many of its destinations this winter season.
In Europe, KLM is meeting the sharp rise in demand for both holiday and business travel. New destinations such as Zagreb and Poznan proved popular soon after their introduction this summer and KLM plans to continue operating these services this winter. With their addition, the number of European destinations served by KLM will in fact exceed that of winter 2019.
In many cases, the number of flights to European destinations is still slightly down on pre-Covid-19 figures. KLM is operating at about 84% of its European network capacity. Even so, the airline is once again serving Europe’s major cities, including Berlin, London, Munich and Paris, at least five times a day. This makes KLM’s winter schedule, with more flights than in the summer, attractive for the growing number of European business travelers. By increasing the number of flights in Europe, KLM will once again be able to connect many European locations through Amsterdam Schiphol, boosting the airport’s status as a global hub.