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