In a statement on 22 March 2023, the Dutch flag carrier KLM announced its flying programme for the 2023 summer season.
The proposed scheduling shows an increase, primarily, in the carrier’s long-haul flying, including a doubling of destinations in Asia.
The airline will double its flights to Asia, compared to 2022, to 16 services. A return to a key region for the airline since COVID restrictions were eased.
With existing daily services to Beijing and Shanghai, the airline will return services three times a week to Hong Kong and twice per week to Taipei via Incheon, South Korea.
In Japan, also via Incheon, KLM operators twice per week to Osaka and three times per week Tokyo Narita, both in Japan. The twice-a-week direct service to Tokyo will increase by 150% to five times a week in September.
Nearby, KLM will serve Indonesia – Denpasar and Jakarta via Singapore. For Manila, Philippines, this is served five times a week via Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur.
Daily services return to Indian destinations Delhi and Mumbai and five weekly flights to Bangalore.
In the Middle East, the airline will operate daily to Dubai and Tel Aviv, with the Tel Aviv service operated on the carrier’s widebody Boeing 777 fleet.
Additionally in the region, KLM also operates a daily service to Kuwait, operating a ‘double stop’ operation – four times a week with Bahrain and three times a week with Muscat, Oman.
Long Haul revival
As expected, the airline is increasing to other areas of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with daily services to the “ABC” Islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao in the Summer.
In the peak season, July and August, the airline is planning as many as 10 flights a week to the island as Curaçao.
KLM will also operate three weekly services to fellow constituent country, Sint Maarten.
Within the Caribbean, Paramaribo in Suriname will be served by six weekly flights and Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, by three weekly services.
In North America, the programme shows an increase in flights to Toronto, Canada, to 13 flights a week. 10 flights a week were operated in the same period of 2022.
The USA programme has expanded to 18 destinations including New York, Atlanta, Austin, Washington, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The announcement also shows expansion to destinations in South America, Africa and some European destinations.
The new Premium Comfort cabin offered by KLM is becoming available on flights to New York, Los Angeles, Washington, Austin, Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.
The class provides an intermediary between Economy and Business class seating. Cabin conversions were started in the second half of 2022 on the carrier’s Boeing 777 and 787 fleets. It expects to complete the fit by January 2024.
KLM joins other operators in a scramble for the Northern Hemisphere summer programmes. All indications show growth is returning to almost (if not actual) 2019 levels.