LONDON – European carrier KLM has announced significant growth plans over the next few months.
At the moment, the airline is operating to 72 destinations over the course of this month, but has plans to grow to 91 destinations on the European network between now and October.
In the same time period, intercontinental operations will continue to grow from 51 this month to 59 next month and then 61 in September and October.
The airline does note that number of flights between now and October will still be lower compared to last year.
For example, for European flights, there are around 10,000 flights expected for August, 13,500 for September and more than 11,000 for October.
In the same period last year, it was 19,000, 18,800 and 14,700 respectively.
For intercontinental operations, this is also behind, with 2,000 flights due to be operated in August and September and over 1,800 in October.
This is down from 3,300, 3,200 and 2,600 flights respectively for the same periods last year.
In a statement, KLM stated its focus is on destination choice before frequency expansion.
“KLM has opted to expand the number of destinations first, so that customers have the widest possible choice. The next step is to increase frequencies or increase capacity by deploying larger aircraft on certain routes.”
The airline has been making such expansion into Europe and into Saudi Arabia particularly.
KLM has recently added services to Cork, Southampton and Riyadh from Amsterdam.
The Cork and Southampton services will operate daily using Embraer E175 aircraft from August 3 and 31 respectively.
Services to Riyadh will commence four times per week from September 28 using its Airbus A330 aircraft.
In-all, this continuation of growth does emphasise a level of confidence into the industry, especially with the number of destinations the airline aims to offer by the year-end.
Like with KLM, 2021 will also be a year of focus for recovery as the industry aims to exceed forecasts of the 2023-24 year for normality.