KLM Royal Dutch Airlines anticipates that intercontinental flights will operate at roughly 75% of pre-pandemic passenger capacity during winter 2021/22. This increased estimation comes as the airline observes loosening travel restrictions and an increased demand for air travel during the winter holiday season.
In a statement, the airline said: “As more and more travel restrictions are eased, KLM will be able to increase capacity again this winter.”
The airline, which plans to operate direct flights from Amsterdam to 162 different destinations this winter (72 intercontinental and 90 within Europe), has resumed operations to almost its entire pre-pandemic network, with the exception of one destination.
KLM has plans to expand its capacity to the United States, citing the country’s reopening to fully-vaccinated travellers beginning November 8, 2021. KLM will add 11 weekly flights to New York JFK as well as 12 weekly operations to Atlanta, Georgra. The airline will also fly to Las Vegas and Miami three times a week during the winter.
Due to “a sharp rise in demand for travel to the Caribbean part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands”, the airline plans to expand its capacity to Curacao. KLM will also increase daily capacity on the route to Aruba and Bonaire by deploying a Boeing 777-300ER, its largest passenger aircraft.
Additionally, KLM is observing “signs of recovery in South America”. Therefore, it will operate four flights a week to San José and Liberia in Costa Rica and daily service to Panama City”. The airline will also continue to operate its longest non-stop flight from Amsterdam to Santiago de Chile this winter.
However, while many regions are starting to show signs of recovery, most Asian countries are still hampered by travel restrictions. As a result, “demand for these flights lags behind those for other regions”, as outlined in the airline’s statement.