Amsterdam-based KLM has announced that its Asia and Middle East network is now mostly restored compared to 2019. While frequencies will be less than compared to 2019, the airline will be back flying to almost all the destinations that it served before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Before the travel downturn, KLM had a substantial network across Asia and the Middle East. However, due to low demand and travel restrictions, the airline suspended service to most of these destinations.
KLM has 17 destinations planned for this summer in Asia, compared with 19 in 2019. These destinations are:
- Mumbai, India
- New Delhi, India
- Bengaluru, India
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Manila, Philippines
- Hong Kong
- Taipei, Taiwan
- Osaka, Japan
- Tokyo Narita, Japan
- Seoul, South Korea
- Chengdu, China
- Beijing, China
- Hangzhou, China
- Shanghai, Japan
KLM flies to Chengdu once a week with passengers and cargo, after which the flight continues on to Beijing via a stopover in Seoul. From there, KLM transports passengers and cargo nonstop back to Amsterdam. For the time being, flights to Hangzhou and Shanghai (China) will keep the current stopover in Seoul (South Korea).
Xiamen (China) is temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, its partner, Xiamen Airlines is currently flying to this Chinese city. The carrier notes that service to Denpasar will be resumed as soon as Bali reopens for international travellers, which will hopefully be later this summer.
KLM will start flights to Phuket in November 2021 which will run 4-times-a-week.
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In the summer of 2021, KLM will be back flying to its 7 destinations in the Middle East, which is the same number as in 2019. These include:
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Dammam, Saudi Arabia
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Muscat, Oman
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
The flights to Riyadh are a first for KLM, with twice-weekly flights running over the summer, scaling up to 3-times-a-week in winter. KLM’s service to Abu Dhabi has been suspended, although the airline offers this destination as a codeshare with Etihad Airways. The carrier expects to restart service to Abu Dhabi in winter 2021. P
Pieter Elbers, President and CEO, KLM, said:
It is a positive sign that the number of destinations in the Middle and Far East has nearly returned to its previous level. As a result, customers can once again rely on KLM’s extensive network, as they were accustomed to doing. While this is a step in the right direction, we aren’t there yet. Vaccinations are the key to the recovery of the aviation sector. After that, an internationally-valid vaccination passport will play a crucial role in restoring our clients’ mobility.
Featured image by KLM
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