Category Archives: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM and TU Delft present successful first flight Flying-V

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines made this announcement:

The scale model of the Flying-V – the energy-efficient aircraft of the future – has flown for the first time. A year and a half ago TU Delft and KLM announced the start of the design of the Flying-V during IATA 2019 and after extensive wind tunnel tests and ground tests it was finally ready. The first successful test flight is a fact.

Last month a team of researchers, engineers and a drone pilot from TU Delft travelled to an airbase in Germany for the first test flight. “We were very curious about the flight characteristics of the Flying-V. The design fits within our Fly Responsibly initiative, which stands for everything we are doing and will do to improve our sustainability. We want a sustainable future for aviation and innovation is part of that. KLM has been among the top three most sustainable airlines worldwide in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for many years. We want to continue to do so in the future. We are therefore very proud that we have been able to achieve this together in such a short period of time,” says Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM.

The Flying-V is a design for a very energy-efficient long-haul aircraft. The design of the aircraft integrates the passenger cabin, cargo hold and fuel tanks in the wings, creating a spectacular V-shape. Computer calculations have predicted that the improved aerodynamic shape and reduced weight of the aircraft will reduce fuel consumption by 20% compared to today’s most advanced aircraft.

Collaboration and Innovation

KLM presented the scale model for the first time during KLM’s 100th anniversary in October 2019. Several partners are now involved in the project, including manufacturer Airbus. Elbers: “You can’t make the aviation sector more sustainable on your own, but you have to do it together,” says Elbers. Collaborating with partners and sharing knowledge takes us all further. That’s why we will further develop the Flying-V concept with all partners. The next step will be to fly the Flying V on sustainable fuel”.

KLM will fly to Hangzhou again

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has made this announcement:

As of August 27, 2020 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will fly again to the Chinese city of Hangzhou. The weekly flight will be operated via Seoul Incheon (South Korea) with a Boeing 777-200. KLM is making every effort to add a second frequency as soon as possible.

KLM’s passenger flights to mainland China were suspended at the beginning of February in connection with COVID-19. Thanks to relaxation of travel restrictions by the Chinese government, KLM was able to resume passenger flights to Shanghai on July 21. The passenger flight to Hangzhou is now added as the second Chinese destination. KLM has continued to transport cargo to and from China.

The flight schedule is as follows:

  • KL 0857 departs from Amsterdam on Thursday at 18.55 hrs and arrives in Seoul Incheon at 12.25 hrs the next day. KL 0821 departs from Seoul Incheon at 13.50 hrs and arrives in Hanghzou at 15.00 hrs.
  • KL 0822 departs from Hangzhou on Friday at 18.50 hrs and arrives in Seoul Incheon at 21.55 hrs. KL 0858 departs from Seoul Incheon on Saturday at 00.25 hrs and arrives in Amsterdam at 04.45 hrs.

All times are local.

Extra hygiene measures

Naturally, KLM has taken measures to ensure that flights are safe for both passengers and staff. For example, face masks are mandatory when boarding and during the flight, extra hygiene equipment is on board and KLM’s aircraft are additionally cleaned using suitable cleaning agents. The air on board is quickly refreshed using HEPA filters.

KLM complies with the strict requirements set by the Chinese government for the resumption of international flights. This means that passengers must complete a health declaration online and that the temperature of passengers is checked. The toilets, for example, are also inspected extra frequently during the flight. Furthermore, there are as few contact moments as possible between crew and passengers, which means there is limited catering available on these flights.

KLM aircraft photo gallery:

KLM aircraft slide show:

https://airlinersgallery.smugmug.com/frame/slideshow?key=5NtrWR&speed=3&transition=fade&autoStart=1&captions=0&navigation=0&playButton=0&randomize=0&transitionSpeed=2

KLM reports an operating loss of €768 million in the first half, will cut upwards of 5,000 positions

KLM issued this financial statement:

The dramatic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak for the airline industry are more pronounced in KLM’s figures for the second quarter as opposed to the first quarter. Cargo business is performing well, but passenger operations have yet to display any form of structural recovery despite the fact that KLM gradually and carefully expands its network.

Passenger numbers fell by 95% in the second quarter of 2020, from over 9 million to less than half a million. Operating income amounted to a loss of €493 million. During the same period in 2019, we earned €270 million in profit.

The figures for the first half-year reflect a marginally more favourable picture, because KLM performed well in January and February before the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Nonetheless, KLM’s turnover almost halved to a figure of €2.8 billion in the first six months of 2020 in comparison with the same period in 2019.

Operating income amounted to a loss of €768 million for the first half-year, compared to a profit of €223 million for the same period in 2019. A decline of almost €1 billion.

Capacity fell by more than 50%, coupled with a decline in passenger numbers of more than 60% to a figure of 8.1 million for the KLM Group as whole. Of this figure, KLM transported 6.7 million passengers and Transavia 1.4 million. Cargo performed relatively well: cargo volume amounted to 229,550 tonnes, representing a 22.3% decline. Despite reduced (belly) capacity, flights to a range of destinations only carried cargo instead of passengers. Cargo was also carried in the cabins of passenger aircraft.

“These financial results serve to highlight the huge impact of this unprecedented crisis for the airline industry and KLM in particular. A loss of €800 million for the first six months of the year is the worst financial setback ever experienced in KLM’s history.
In the months ahead, KLM will continue to expand its European and intercontinental network. This is an important step towards recovery, albeit both limited and cautious. The road to recovery will be long and fraught with uncertainty. Even though we have already done a lot, further far-reaching measures will unfortunately be unavoidable.
And, despite this unbelievably difficult period and equally challenging circumstances, KLM’s employees are still doing everything possible to serve our customers. I appreciate this greatly and have enormous respect for everyone’s efforts.”
KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers

 

KLM is in the throes of a crisis of unprecedented magnitude. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus at the start of 2020, numerous measures have already been taken to deal with the current circumstances. Expectations are that the road to recovery will be long and fraught with uncertainty. This means that KLM’s structure and size must be rigorously adjusted even further in the years ahead.

Consequently, a total of 4,500 to 5,000 positions in the entire KLM Group (expressed in FTEs) will cease to exist.

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, KLM gradually began reducing the size of its network in February to operate less than 10% of its original number of flights by the start of April. In the second quarter, only 15% of the original number of flights were operated. In July, 30% of the original flights were operated and load factors are lagging behind. As a result, while the network is again being gradually and carefully expanded, revenues are lagging far behind.

Prospects for the airline industry – and KLM in particular – are uncertain. Different countries are now beginning to tighten their more relaxed travel restrictions. This is making customers more cautious when it comes to booking a ticket. In all scenarios, demand is only expected to recover by 2023 or 2024 at the earliest. The degree and speed of recovery will depend on a number of factors including the development of the virus, economic recovery and customer travel behaviour.

Adjusting to the new reality

Government support in the form of a direct state loan and guaranteed bank credit facilities amounting to a maximum of €3.4 billion will enable KLM to navigate the crisis in the forthcoming period. KLM is extremely grateful for this support provided by means of the loan. In order to guarantee KLM’s existence in the longer term, the airline must adapt its size to the new reality. KLM therefore finds itself compelled to reduce its workforce down to the number needed for the planned operation in 2021/2022. Of the current total of 33,000 FTEs in the entire KLM Group, the workforce must be reduced by 4,500 to 5,000 FTEs to 28,000 FTEs in the course of 2021.

KLM’s size is already becoming smaller – and will continue to be reduced – based on the current measures, which include the non-renewal of temporary contracts (1,500 FTEs) and the Voluntarily Departure Scheme (2,000 FTEs). Additionally, natural attrition (500 FTEs) through retirement and the like in 2020 and 2021 will also contribute to the reduction needed.

Hence, despite the measures already taken, even fewer people will be needed at KLM in the years ahead. Additionally, for positions on the ground we also need to deal with some mismatch in functional skills and capabilities.

Unfortunately, for this reason and taking into account the mismatch, alternative solutions will have to be found for ca. 1,500 positions. This relates to up to 500 ground positions, 300 cabin crew positions and 300 cockpit positions and approximately 400 positions at KLM subsidiaries and Air France-KLM group functions.

Given the high level of uncertainty, KLM keeps open the possibility of further reductions in case the production levels will be revised further down for 2021/2022 than the -20% planned now.

Trade unions and Works Council

KLM’s reorganisation plans tie in with organisation-wide changes at Air France KLM. In the forthcoming period, KLM will be cooperating closely with the trade unions to draft a social plan for each collective labour agreement domain and subsidiary, as well as maintaining close consultation with the Works Council about further defining the reorganisation. This will include a more detailed specification of the conditions set by the Dutch government on issuing the financing package. Expectations are that this will be finished in its entirety in the course of October.

KLM network: recovery of destination offer, capacity lags far behind

KLM has made this announcement:

KLM’s European network will grow in the coming months from 72 destinations in July to 91 destinations in August, September and October. The number of intercontinental destinations will increase from 51 in July, to 59 in August and 61 in September and October. As a result, KLM offers its customers the widest possible choice of destinations. Capacity in flights and seats, however, is still far below the level before COVID-19.

Compared to 2019, the European network is virtually at its pre-COVID-19 level in terms of number of destinations. Between August and October 2019, KLM offered 92 European destinations. However, the number of flights still lags far behind the level of 2019. In August, there were about 10,000 flights, in September 13,500 and in October more than 11,000. In 2019, there were more than 19,000, 18,800 and 14,700 flights respectively.

The intercontinental network is still slightly behind compared to last year, when 69 destinations were offered between August and October. Currently, one third of intercontinental flights only carry cargo. As soon as local travel rules allow, KLM will start carrying passengers on these flights again. The number of flights is also lagging behind: around 2,000 in August and September and just over 1,800 in October. Last year there were about 3,300, 3,200 and almost 2,600 flights respectively.

KLM has opted to expand the number of destinations first, so that customers have the widest possible choice. The next step is to increase frequencies or increase capacity by deploying larger aircraft on certain routes.

Safety remains paramount

Naturally, KLM has taken measures to ensure that flights are safe for both passengers and staff. For example, face masks are mandatory when boarding and during the flight, there are extra hygiene equipment on board, and KLM’s aircraft are cleaned extra thoroughly. The air on board is quickly refreshed using HEPA filters. For more information about the hygiene measures on board, please watch this video: https://youtu.be/frPO6b58kcU.

In addition, KLM naturally adapts to changing circumstances, with governments in various countries taking new measures.

New destinations

New destinations have also been added: Cork (Ireland), Southampton (United Kingdom) and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia). The corona crisis has impacted the airline industry heavily. Supply and demand are now subject to greater, more rapid change than before. This means that KLM must maintain an especially resilient network. Less demand on some routes is compensated for by opening up new routes. Additionally, KLM is strengthening its position in the market – in this case, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the Middle East.

Using Embraer 175 equipment, Cork and Southampton will be served daily with effect from 3 and 31 August respectively. Riyadh will be served four times a week using Airbus A330 equipment with effect from 28 September.

KLM resumes flights to China after five months

KLM has made this announcement:

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines on July 21 resumed passenger flights from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to Shanghai due to the relaxation of travel restrictions by the Chinese government. These flights are in addition to the cargo airlift that started on 20 April for the transport of medical supplies.

Flights to mainland China were suspended at the beginning of February in connection with COVID-19. KLM now operates one flight a week to Shanghai, which is operated with a Boeing 777-300 and makes a stop in Seoul (South Korea) on both outbound and inbound flights.

With the reopening of the Amsterdam-Shanghai route, KLM emphasizes the importance of the Chinese market in its network. The warm ties were the reason for Economic Counselor Chinese Embassy Mr. Zhang Guosheng and KLM’s CEO Mr. Pieter Elbers to see this first flight off.

In other news, from September 28, 2020, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will adjust the schedule for flights between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and the Gulf States in the Middle East. KLM will also expand its network with the opening of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is an entirely new destination for Schiphol.

KLM is slowly and carefully expanding its European and intercontinental network. In doing so, KLM aims to offer its customers as much choice of destinations as possible. Adding Riyadh as a new destination will strengthen KLM’s network in the Middle East and help keep it robust. The opening of Riyadh means an increase in the number of destinations, but not in the number of flights to the Middle East, because Riyadh will be combined with an existing destination. The total number of flights KLM operates from Schiphol is far from the pre-corona crisis level.

Riyadh flight schedule

KLM will fly directly from Amsterdam to Riyadh 4 times a week. On the way back, this flight will make a short stopover in Dammam in Saudi Arabia, a destination that was already included in the KLM network before the corona crisis. The flights will be operated with the Airbus A330-200 with 18 seats in World Business Class and 246 seats in Economy Class.

Flight number From To Departure (local time) Arrival (local time) Days of the week
KL0425 and KL0423 Amsterdam Riyadh 15.35 hours 22.40 hours Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat
KL0425 and KL0423 Riyadh Dammam 23.45 hours 01.10 hours Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat
KL0425 and KL0423 Dammam Amsterdam 02.25 hours 08.05 hours Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun

Muscat combined with Abu Dhabi

The flights to Muscat will be operated with a short stopover in Abu Dhabi from 3 August. There will be 3 flights per week. The Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi-Muscat-Abu Dhabi-Amsterdam route will be operated using the Boeing 787-9 with 30 seats in World Business Class and 264 seats in Economy Class.

Flight number From To Departure (local time) Arrival (local time) Days of the week
KL0453 Amsterdam Abu Dhabi 11.30 hours 20.05 hours Mon, Thu, Sat
KL0453 Abu Dhabi Muscat 21.20 hours 22.40 hours Mon, Thu, Sat
KL0454 Muscat Abu Dhabi 23.45 hours 01.00 hours Tue, Fri, Sun
KL0454 Abu Dhabi Amsterdam 02.10 hours 07.00 hours Mon, Wed, Sat

Reopening flights to Kuwait-Bahrain

As part of the slow expansion of the KLM network, flights via Kuwait to Bahrain will also be restarted on 29 September 2020. It concerns 3 flights per week.

Flight number From To Departure (local time) Arrival (local time) Days of the week
KL0445 Amsterdam Kuwait 14.15 hours 21.00 hours Tue, Thu, Sat
KL0445 Kuwait Bahrein 22.10 hours 23.20 hours Tue, Thu, Sat
KL0446 Bahrein Kuwait 00.30 hours 01.45 hours Mon, Thu, Sat
KL0446 Kuwait Amsterdam 03.05 hours 08.15 hours Mon, Thu, Sat

Flight schedule to Dubai will remain unchanged

The flights from Amsterdam to Dubai will remain unchanged. KLM operates daily flights on this route with a Boeing 777-200 with 34 seats in World Business Class and 286 seats in Economy Class.

Flight number From To Departure (local time) Arrival (local time) Days of the week
KL0427 Amsterdam Dubai 14.30 hours 23.10 hours Daily
KL0428 Dubai Amsterdam 00.50 hours 05.55 hours Daily

Seven destinations in the Gulf States

As of 28 September, KLM offers a total of 7 destinations in the Gulf States from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Dubai and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Dammam and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Muscat (Oman), Manama (Bahrain) and Kuwait City (Kuwait).

Please note that flight times may be subject to change.

Additional hygiene measures

Naturally, KLM has taken measures to ensure that the flight is safe for both passengers and crew. For example, face masks are mandatory when boarding and during the flight, there are extra hygiene equipment on board, such as hand sanitizer, and KLM’s aircraft are thoroughly cleaned. The air on board is quickly refreshed using HEPA filters. For more information about the hygiene measures on board:

KLM naturally complies with the strict requirements set by the Chinese government for the resumption of international flights. This means that passengers must complete a health declaration form online and that the temperature of passengers is checked. The toilets, for example, are also inspected extra frequently during the flight. Furthermore, there are as few contact moments as possible between crew and passengers, which means there is limited catering available on these flights.

KLM aircraft photo gallery:

KLM aircraft slide show:

https://airlinersgallery.smugmug.com/frame/slideshow?key=5NtrWR&speed=3&transition=fade&autoStart=1&captions=0&navigation=0&playButton=0&randomize=0&transitionSpeed=2

KLM adds Cork (Ireland) to its European network

KLM expands its European network with Cork (Ireland). As of 3 August, the second largest city of Ireland will be connected to Schiphol every day by KLM. Flights will be operated with the Embraer 175, with a capacity of 88 passengers.

KLM is in the process of slowly and carefully rebuilding its network. The number of destinations is growing rapidly, but the number of flights is still far from the pre-crisis level. KLM has opted to first offer customers as much choice of destinations as possible. After that, we will examine whether the number of flights to a destination can be increased or whether capacity can be increased by using a larger aircraft.

The opening of Cork was initially planned for the end of March. Due to the corona crisis it was postponed.

Flight schedule

Cork is the second destination in Ireland for KLM, next to Dublin. As of 3 August 2020, KLM will operate daily flights between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Cork Airport. The Embraer 175 has 20 seats in Business Class, 8 in Economy Comfort and 60 in Economy Class.

The flight schedule is as follows:

– KL1085 departs from Amsterdam daily at 12.05 and arrives in Cork at 12.55.

– KL 1086 departs from Cork daily at 13.25 and arrives in Amsterdam at 16.10.

All times are local.

Ryanair calls on the EU to block €3.4 billion illegal state aid to KLM

Ryanair has called on the EU Commission to block the latest illegal State Aid of €3.4 billion to Dutch flag carrier KLM, which equates to a subsidy of €200 on behalf of every man, woman and child of Holland. The Dutch Government are great at preaching fiscal conservatism to other EU countries but when it comes to bailing out flag carrier airlines they write subsidy checks even faster than Mrs Merkel.

Ryanair Group CEO Michael O’Leary said:

“16 years after Air France’s takeover of KLM, every Dutch citizen now has to pay €200 each to prop-up Air France-KLM, while each French citizen will only pay a subsidy €100. This is a poor deal for the “trading nation”, which likes to lecture other EU countries about fiscal rules but has no problem breaking these rules when it comes to subsidising KLM. This Dutch government subsidy is also bad news for competition and consumer interests as it will further delay the necessary reforms at the bloated Air France-KLM.  For this €200 KLM subsidy, every Dutch man, woman and child could buy 5 flights with Ryanair, instead of paying for the failure and inefficiency at Air France-KLM.  

We call on the European Commission to block this subsidy doping to KLM, which will further reduce competition and consumer choice in the Dutch and French markets”.

KLM secures financing of EUR 3.4 billion to weather the COVID-19 crisis

KLM has announced that it has secured financing for a total amount of EUR 3.4 billion.

COVID-19 has caused aviation to virtually come to a standstill worldwide in recent months. The pandemic has an unprecedented impact on KLM Group’s activities. In order to cope with this difficult period and to secure the future of the company, KLM has already taken a large number of measures to maintain liquidity shortly after the outbreak. Nevertheless, KLM needs additional financing in the coming period. This has been the subject of intensive discussions with the Dutch state and banks in recent months.

“Due to COVID-19 KLM is currently in an unprecedented crisis. The financing package is necessary to secure the long and difficult road of recovery in the coming period. This is a very important step and I express my gratitude on behalf of all KLM colleagues to the Dutch state and the banks for their confidence in our organisation and our future. With the financing package, KLM can continue to fulfil its important social role in economic recovery and sustainability. In the coming period, we will be working on the restoration of the route network and, on the other hand, on the development of the restructuring plan and the far-reaching conditions that have been imposed on the package.”

KLM CEO Pieter Elbers

The financing ensures that KLM can continue its activities and that the company’s position is strengthened towards the future. The conditions imposed by the Dutch State on the financing package relate to the entire KLM Group and include terms of employment of all KLM Group employees, the variable remuneration of management and top management, restructuring, dividend, governance, network quality, sustainability and liveability.

After careful discussions with both the Dutch state and banks, KLM has agreed on the structure of a financing package to ensure liquidity. The financing package and the conditions under which this package is provided by the Dutch state are subject to parliamentary approval in the Netherlands. The financing package should also be approved by the European Commission under the Temporary Framework for State aid measures introduced in the context of COVID-19.

Once this approval has been obtained, KLM will consult with trade unions to work out and detail together the conditions that the government imposes on the employment conditions of KLM employees.

The financing package consists of:

  • A 90% State guaranteed revolving credit facility of EUR 2.4 billion with a maturity of 5 years. The facility is granted by 11 banks, of which three Dutch banks and eight foreign banks.
  • A direct State loan of EUR 1 billion with a maturity of 5.5 years. The loan, provided by the Dutch State, will be subordinated to the revolving credit facility.

Following the completion of the parliamentary process, the first EUR 665 million drawing under the new revolving credit facility will be used to repay and terminate the existing revolving credit facility drawn on 19 March 2020. At that time, KLM will also withdraw a pro rata amount (EUR 277 million) from the direct State loan. Follow-up withdrawals under both the revolving credit facility and the direct State loan are only possible if certain conditions imposed by the State are met.

KLM will therefore draw up a restructuring plan that meets these conditions and determines the path for post-COVID-19 recovery. The plan also aims to review KLM’s current activities and adapt KLM to the changed economic reality.

Further information on the financing package

Revolving credit facility

  • A revolving credit facility of EUR 2.4 billion, granted by 11 banks, of which three Dutch banks and eight international banks.
  • The main features include:
    • 90% guarantee granted by the Dutch state
    • Maturity of 5 years
    • Coupon at an annual rate equal to EURIBOR (floored at zero) plus a margin of 1.35%
    • A cost of guarantee granted by the Dutch state equal to 0.50% in year 1, 1.00% in year 2 and 3, and 2.00% after year 3

Direct state loan

  • A direct term loan of EUR 1.0 billion, granted by the Dutch state to KLM.
  • The main features include:
    • Maturity of 5.5 years
    • Coupon payable annually at a rate equal to EURIBOR 12 months (floored at zero) plus a margin of 6.25% for year 1, 6.75% for year 2 and 3, and 7.75% for year 4 and 5
    • Subordination to the new revolving credit facility

The revolving credit facility and the direct loan will be drawn on a pro rata basis. KLM’s first drawing under the new revolving credit facility will be used to repay and terminate the existing revolving credit facility drawn on 19 March 2020 for an amount of 665 million euros. At that time, KLM will also withdraw a pro rata amount from the direct State loan. Follow-up withdrawals under both the revolving credit facility and the direct State loan are only possible if certain conditions imposed by the State are met.

The syndicated revolving credit facility was coordinated by the three Dutch banks: ABN, ING and Rabobank. KLM received financial advice from Rabobank and legal advice from Allen & Overy LLP.

KLM aircraft photo gallery:

KLM gradually rebuilds its network

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has made this announcement:

KLM is gradually and carefully restarting its network. In July, KLM operates 5,000 European flights. The forecast for August is 11,000. Intercontinental numbers are around 1,900 in July and 2,100 in August. At the moment, about half of the intercontinental flights are cargo-only. KLM hopes that – if worldwide travel restrictions are relaxed – an increasing number of intercontinental flights will be allowed to carry passengers again from July onwards.

The number of flights shows considerable growth compared to April, when KLM’s flight operations came to a virtual standstill as a result of the coronavirus crisis. KLM operated 1,116 flights within Europe and 612 intercontinental flights in April.

The recovery has therefore started cautiously, but the level of 2019 is far from being approached. In the months of July and August last year, KLM operated a total of some 22,000 flights. Moreover, the occupancy rate lags behind the record year of 2019.

Number of destinations: as much choice as possible for the customer

The number of destinations shows a slightly different picture. KLM has opted to restart as many destinations as possible first in order to offer customers a wide choice and then to increase frequencies and capacity.

This means that in July around 80 percent of the normal number of European destinations and around 75 percent of intercontinental destinations will be offered. In August this will be around 95 percent and 80 percent respectively.

It should be noted that, here too, about half of intercontinental flights currently only carry cargo and therefore no passengers. When international travel restrictions are relaxed, KLM will of course start carrying passengers to these destinations again.

KLM trials sustainable taxiing

KLM on May 27 started taking part in a trial at Schiphol to test sustainable ways to taxi aircraft. The trial is being carried out with a Taxibot. This is a hybrid towing vehicle which, unlike the normal pushback trucks, is licenced to tow full aircraft to near the start of the runway, without the aircraft having to start its engines. This is expected to reduce fuel consumption during taxiing by 50% to 85%. Schiphol Airport has made the Taxibot available to KLM, Transavia and Corendon to enable them to carry out joint research into more sustainable ways to taxi.

During the test, an empty KLM Boeing 737 was towed to the runway by the Taxibot. “It’s important to find out how far we can cut CO2 emissions by using the Taxibot,” explained KLM’s project manager, Jeroen Jaartsveld. “We’d also like to know how long it takes to taxi with the Taxibot, what effect this has on aircraft engine maintenance, and how we might introduce sustainable taxiing with Taxibots on a large scale into Schiphol’s daily operations.”

Fly Responsibly

KLM’s sustainability initiative, Fly Responsibly, launched last year, included a commitment to reducing carbon emissions caused by taxiing. This will contribute to KLM’s ambition to cut its fleet’s total carbon emissions by 15% compared to 2005.