Even though its overall number of flights fell last year, KLM maintained a reasonably excellent route network. Cargo demand has contributed to the network’s robustness. Indeed, this is a significant element in keeping the KLM fleet’s larger aircraft occupied and specific destinations on the route map.
Flights operated by KLM from January 2020 to January 2021 are shown below per month.
A diverse selection of locations are available.
KLM’s flight activity follows the industry’s ups and downs in general, although with a less dramatic reduction at its lowest points than some other airlines. The bulk of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ network, according to Sicco Marsman, VP Network Planning, is “extremely significant.”
“Early in the crisis, we chose to give consumers the greatest selection of destinations feasible, then we looked at raising the number of frequencies or extending capacity by deploying bigger planes,” Marsman added. “As a result, we were able to keep practically our entire network of destinations operational, but at significantly lower frequencies than before the crisis.” This allowed us to repatriate clients, ease critical travel (for example, diplomats, medical assistance workers, and ship crews), and move critical commodities like as face masks and medical supplies.”
777-300ER Royal Dutch Airlines during epidemic operations flight route map
Making all of that work, as well as selecting when and where to cut or increase flights, has been a balancing act, as it is with any airline. “In most cases, airline operations must be scheduled months in advance,” Marsman explains. “We had to entirely restructure procedures and, where feasible, boost the planning’s flexibility.” This is a company-wide issue involving several divisions.” Marsman went on to say that crews are now inspected twice at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS), once on departure and once upon landing. In the future, “testing will be vitally crucial” in order to keep people going until vaccinations are more widely available.
There are a lot of huge jets flying about right now.
KLM Amsterdam 787 Dreamliner by Royal Dutch Airlines
One thing that pops out right away in the KLM statistics is that its 777 and 787 fleets have remained flying to an impressive degree during the epidemic. As we approached April of last year, flight numbers did drop, but only slightly. Even more surprising, although general traffic in most of the globe has decreased this year, KLM’s 777 and 787 aircraft have had identical flying totals in January 2021 as in January 2020, prior to the pandemic’s onset.
January 2020 to January 2021: KLM 777 and 787 Flights
In reality, 787-9 trips outnumbered 737-800 departures in April 2020 (197). (173). When we compare all 787s (including the -10) in April against all 737s, the contrast is even more obvious. 331 787 flights vs. 257 737 flights is the difference (the -700 and -800 kept flying while the -900 was entirely parked).
Exceptions are the 747 and A330.
As we all know, KLM retired the 747 from passenger service early last year, which caused many an avgeek to cry. In April, the number of flights it offered fell dramatically. In the months that followed, it recovered just about halfway before being permanently curtailed in the second part of the year.
Coronavirus retirement on the KLM 747-400
In happier times, the magnificent KLM 747-400 could be seen.
During the early months of the epidemic, the A330 was the only wide-body aircraft that was fully grounded. The -200 and -300 series are included in this. They were back in the air by early summer, albeit on fewer sorties, and their total monthly flights are still lower than those of the other wide-body aircraft in the fleet.
From January 2020 to January 2021, KLM will provide monthly A330 flights.
Cities where service has been cut off
The data shows that as the virus spread, it was mostly secondary European locations that had service halted completely. Cities such as Leiden, Alicante, Dresden, Linköping, and Florence are only a few examples. Many of them were restored back in time for the summer season in 2020, and it’s apparent that these smaller feeder services to KLM’s broader worldwide network are significant – since some of them have remained since, even if just a few flights per week.
KLM 737-800 aircraft are used for European routes.
Long-haul flights were also disrupted in a number of places, however flights have already resumed. Larger cities, such as San Francisco, have also experienced similar phenomenon. This was seen on several of the connections to Dutch territory such as Oranjestad (AUA) and Paramaribo (PBM). Boston and Washington, D.C., both in the United States, found similar results. Only one week – the first week of April – did Bogotá (BOG) lose all service.
Cities with a steady flow of traffic
Since the epidemic started, KLM’s network has seen at least some weekly flights to a number of locations. Stockholm, Toronto, Tokyo, Vienna, New York, and Los Angeles are among the cities on the list, demonstrating that European capitals are not the only ones. Although cargo is likely to have had a role in keeping some of the long-haul towns afloat, the list is nonetheless impressive. Another dependable destination has been Sao Paulo. In reality, as this article on Brazilian air traffic points out, KLM flew out of Brazil in October and November of last year at over three-quarters of its pre-pandemic schedule.
There is still a lot of movement.
We seem to have arrived at a crossroads. KLM’s (and most other airlines’) route map may start to revert to something like normalcy in the near future. Alternatively, there might be more ups and downs in the future. As new virus strains develop and lockdowns come and go, we may continue to see suspensions of particular locations. Most airlines will undoubtedly be hoping for the former while planning for the latter. In any case, a complete recovery will take some time.
Future Boeing 777s from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
The picture is varied when it comes to KLM’s present traffic. Zanzibar, a relatively unknown tourist destination, has just re-entered the itinerary. Before things went bad, Dubai had more flights in January than it had in January 2020. Mainstays like London, on the other hand, remain much below average. At the end of January, Heathrow had about 30 flights each week. In the pre-pandemic era, there were over a hundred every week. This is in line with the general pattern of leisure destinations doing well while business travel markets suffer.
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