Network update | KLM reduces capacity in Europe in response to second wave


The second wave of coronavirus in Europe has resulted in new lockdowns, prompting KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to make network adjustments for the coming period. KLM will keep serving as many destinations as possible, but will reduce seat capacity and flight frequency.

In the coming months, KLM will serve around 90-95% of the European destinations it served before the crisis. Service will be suspended to a number of destinations, primarily in the United Kingdom. Overall capacity aboard European flights will be reduced from about 50% to 40% compared to pre-corona figures.

In terms of intercontinental service, the number of passenger flights will be around 50-60% of pre-corona levels. If we include our cargo-only services, we will be operating around 65% of our flights.

Network strategy

During the course of the pandemic, KLM strategically opted to restore service to as many of its network destinations as possible. In response to the prevailing circumstances, we are doing so with fewer flights and smaller aircraft. This means our customers have the widest possible choice of destinations, enabling us to maintain our network through our Amsterdam hub. We are also serving many of our intercontinental destinations on a cargo-only basis, in compliance with current travel restrictions.

This strategy has proved successful in recent months and has ensured that we did not have to trim our network as rigorously as some other airlines. August and September showed clear signs of recovery.

Regrettably, the second wave has led to new restrictions throughout Europe, not just in the Netherlands. Capacity will therefore be trimmed again into the coming period. KLM will maintain its existing network strategy, even adding several new destinations. Depending on developments, further adjustments will be made in the coming period.

New destinations

The corona pandemic confirms that a flexible network is very important. By opening new routes, we can make up for declining demand on other routes. KLM also strengthens its market position whenever it adds a new destination to its network. The following services have been recently added or will be added in the coming months:

  • Effective 4 January, KLM will operate four weekly flights to Riyadh (Saudi-Arabia);
  • Effective 10 December, KLM will operate twice-weekly service to Zanzibar, with a stop in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) on the return leg to Amsterdam;
  • Since 8 November, we have operated thrice-daily service to the new airport Berlin Brandenburg (Germany);
  • On 29 October, KLM resumed its circle flight Amsterdam-Calgary-Edmonton-Amsterdam, thus restoring service to Edmonton;
  • Since 25 October, we have operated daily service to Poznan (Poland);
  • Since 24 October, KLM has resumed weekly service from Amsterdam to Chengdu and from Beijing to Amsterdam.