24 March, 2020

KLM introducing new summer schedule featuring 32 European destinations despite the rapid increase in infections of coronavirus COVID19 throughout Europe

Photo Patrick Kop
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is to introduce a summer schedule with a significantly reduced network from 29th March until and including 3 May. The airline says it will fly to 25 intercontinental and 32 European destinations. During this period, KLM will fly according to an adjusted schedule, which amounts to about 10 percent of the normal number of flights. 

Intercontinental: 777’s and 787’s

The intercontinental network will be operated with Boeing 777s and 787s. The Boeing 747s will be taken out of the fleet early. The remaining aircraft will be parked at Schiphol. A plan for this is currently being drawn up together with the airport.

The following destinations will be offered from 29 March to 3 May (subject to changes):

Airport                    Frequency per week
Atlanta                    3
Abu Dhabi/Muscat  2
Bangkok                 2
Curacao                 2
Delhi*                     2
Dubai*                    3
Sao Paulo              2
Hong Kong            3
Incheon (Seoul)    3
New York JFK       7
Johannesburg       3
Kansai (Osaka)     2
Los Angeles          3
Lima*                     3
Mexico City           3
Nairobi*                 2
Narita (Tokyo)       2
Chicago O’Hare    2
Beijing*                 3
Panama City         2
Shanghai              3
Singapore             3
Taipei*                   3
Calgary                 3
Toronto                 3
Total                   69 return flights

* These routes are subject to very strict travel restrictions and KLM will initially fly with cargo only.

For all other routes, KLM would like to point out to passengers that many countries have introduced travel restrictions. Please note that this sometimes happens at short notice - for an overview of the rules see IATA Travel Centre.

Europe: as many connections as possible

The European network has been set up in such a way that as many European flights as possible connect to the intercontinental network. The following destinations will be flown daily from Schiphol from 28 March to 3 May (subject to change):

Geneva, Vienna, Zurich, Brussels, Paris, Lyon, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart, Berlin, Rome (from 4 April)**, Stockholm, Billund, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Oslo, Barcelona**, Lisbon, Madrid**, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London City, London Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle.

** These routes are currently subject to very strict travel restrictions and it will be considered at a later stage whether/when these flights can be operated.

For all other routes, KLM informs passengers that many countries have introduced travel restrictions. Please note that this sometimes happens at short notice - for an overview of the rules see IATA Travel Centre.

Many in The Netherland's have criticised the national airline for introducing a sizable new schedule at a time of national and global crisis. Further expanding the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 which is spreading through the country, which has recently introduced regulations to ban meetings of more than 3 people and fines for not social isolating. Indeed, it has been reported that unions are taking legal advice over staff being forced to work flights, particularly to destinations with high infection and mortality rates.  

As a result of growing criticism and concern among staff the airline was forced to issue a statement saying the airline was altering its inflight service and "made several drastic changes to the way we work on board. All this to ensure that the crew can continue to do their work with a sense of security and thus help to bring passengers back home safely."

A safe flight operation has our highest priority. At the request of both crew and passengers, due to the coronavirus, the service onboard has been adapted to reduce physical contact. In this way, we minimize contact moments between crew and passengers on both intercontinental and European flights. In addition, KLM provides personal protective equipment and the schedule has been adjusted so that crew do not stay abroad or stay abroad for as short a period of time as possible. If for whatever reason, cabin crew do not feel comfortable enough to fly, KLM understands this and will look for an appropriate solution.

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