KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has joined other major European airlines in cutting more flights over the summer due to staff shortages at Schiphol Airport and at KLM causing what it described as “relentless” pressure.
“Through 28 August, we will cancel 10 to 20 return flights to European destinations every day,” the airline said in a statement published on July 8, 2022.
“KLM’s measures are intended to restore operational stability, thereby relieving pressure on staff at Schiphol and KLM,” the statement continued.
The unprecedented return of travel demand has set off a wave of operational challenges for many airlines in the industry, further exacerbated by staff shortages.
“We will also strongly restrict the sale of remaining seats on KLM and KLM Cityhopper flights to European destinations. This will free up space for customers who are rebooked if their flight is cancelled,” said KLM in the statement.
The airline added that the measure would supplement its existing restriction on sales, in order to accommodate passengers who need to be rebooked after missing their flight due to long security queues at Schiphol and to comply with restrictions Schiphol has imposed on the number of passengers boarding locally.
The airline is also taking measures for its freight operations to ease pressure for handling staff on the ground. Cargo will no longer be booked and loaded onto KLM Cityhopper flights, while loose packages and mail bags will be put into containers for intercontinental flights to make them easier to load.
However, KLM is not the only European airline to announce cancelations over this summer period.
In July 2022 British Airways confirmed that it will remove over 10,000 short-haul flights from the start of August until the end of October, to build resilience into its schedules amidst ongoing disruption across the industry.
EasyJet and Lufthansa Group have also been removing flights due to staff shortages at airlines, airports and air traffic control.