Demand for air travel is increasing as Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted in Europe Union countries. KLM is responding by expanding capacity on European routes by 10% compared to last year, almost matching the 2019 pre-pandemic level.
This amounts to about 16 million seats in total. The Portuguese cities of Porto and Lisbon, with three and four flights a day respectively, are just some of the destinations seeing an increase in KLM flights.
The success of new destinations Belgrade, Dubrovnik, and Palma de Mallorca, which were added to the KLM route network last year, means they will once again be included in the summer schedule. KLM also expects business travelers to return, which is why frequencies are being added to British, German and Polish routes.
Services to Kyiv, St Petersburg and Moscow continue to be suspended. KLM is keeping a close eye on developments in the region.
Between March 27 and October 29, KLM will fly to 96 European and 71 intercontinental destinations, offering a vast number of flight options for business and leisure travelers alike.
Intercontinental: frequently to the Caribbean and more often to the USA
KLM is also increasing capacity on its intercontinental route network by 17% compared to last year, in response to a rising trend in bookings. This summer, KLM will operate daily flights to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, increasing the frequency to Curaçao to twice daily during the summer holiday season. Port of Spain, KLM’s new tropical destination in the winter schedule, is included in the summer schedule too, offering customers thrice weekly flights between Amsterdam and the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.
Since the USA eased travel restrictions in November 2021, demand for flights has grown steadily. KLM capacity to the USA this summer matches that of 2019. The resumption of flights to Salt Lake City and the new addition of Austin to our network, means KLM will be operating direct services this summer to 12 destinations in the USA, the highest number ever. Austin, the state capital of Texas, is a flourishing technology hub and home to a large number of technology companies. It is also a thriving student city with a vibrant nightlife, Formula 1 and the major South by Southwest annual festival (SXSW). KLM will operate three flights a week to Austin starting March 28.
We are also seeing more and more countries in Asia opening to visitors again. Although Covid-19 travel restrictions vary from country to country, summer demand is increasing for such destinations as the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, and Bali. India too has indicated that it will be easing travel restrictions. KLM will respond by increasing frequencies to Delhi and Mumbai. Asia continues to be a strong and important market for cargo, allowing us to continue to operate lower frequency services to all pre-pandemic destinations.
Travel restrictions continue in China, which means we cannot yet resume our usual network services to China. Due to EU sanctions against Russia, KLM is not operating in Russian airspace. Flight times to and from South Korea, Japan and China are consequently on average two hours longer than usual. Flights to Japan and China are currently making a stopover in Seoul.
Capacity on most routes to South America has been restored to more or less pre-pandemic levels. We are currently operating daily services to Sao Paulo, Panama City and Lima, with a minimum of six flights a week to Quito/Guayaquil, Bogota/Cartagena, Rio de Janeiro, and Buenos Aires/Santiago de Chile.
Passengers wanting to fly to Africa this summer can now choose between ten destinations. Capacity has been expanded on many routes, compared to last summer, to meet the growing demand. Zanzibar, which was added to our route network last year, is once again included in the summer schedule. KLM is also operating services to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Accra, Lagos, Kigali, Entebbe, Nairobi, Kilimanjaro, and Dar es Salaam.