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Air France - KLM to Increase Capacity to Asia

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Thursday, 11 September 2008

In a difficult global economic context marked by a constantly high oil price, the Air France-KLM Group's winter schedule posts moderate growth for the 2008-09 season which begins on 26 October 2008. The group's overall capacity is up 1.7% in terms of available seat-km compared with  winter 2007-08. This breaks down into -1.5% for the short and medium-haul network and +2.6% on long-haul routes.

KLMs network from its base at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, connects the Netherlands to all of the world's most important economic regions, making the airline a driving force in the Dutch economy. KLM continues to expand capacity in emerging markets. Another focus is on improving connectivity between the North Atlantic and Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. Together with code share partners KLM offers 70 long-haul and 76 short-haul destinations from Amsterdam.

On the Asian market, growth continues to be robust with a capacity increase of over 4%, including additional capacity planned on mainland China. KLM will increase capacity to double daily frequencies between Amsterdam and Shanghai this winter. Together with Air France, KLM offers four daily frequencies to this Chinese metropolis. The capacity growth on Shanghai adds to the total amount of 69 weekly frequencies that Air France and KLM offer to mainland China this winter season. With a total of 40,000 weekly seats offered between China and Europe, Air France and KLM underline their strong position in this market.

In winter 2008/09, KLM will continue to expand capacity to the Central and South-American network by up to 13%. Frequencies to Panama City (introduced in summer 2008) will be increased from 3 to 5 as per 1 December 2008. Through this expansion, KLM will offer passengers and cargo shippers a significant increase of more available seats and cargo space. This increase of services is driven by to the very positive response by the Panamanian and Central American customers of KLMs recently launched flights in summer 2008. Through the successful strategic cooperation and code share agreement with Copa Airlines, the new flights will also provide customers improved travel options to a wide range of destinations in Central and South America beyond Panama.

Compared to last winter, the service to Lima is increased from 6 to 7 flights per week, while capacity is added to the So Paulo route by operating 3 out of 7 flights with the Boeing 777-300 ER instead of the Boeing 777-200 ER.

Capacity to the Netherlands Antilles will remain stable with daily Curacao & Bonaire services, 4 weekly Aruba services and 2 weekly Saint Maarten services.

KLM will expand capacity on African destinations by 3.7% compared to last year. Capacity will be increased on the service to Kilimanjaro and Dar Es Salaam by means of larger equipment. The flights will be carried out in a mix of Boeing 777-200 ER and 777-300 ER aircraft. Furthermore, compared with last year, KLM will operate one additional frequency to Tripoli, raising the total weekly frequencies to 5.

KLM will also increase capacity on Teheran. As of this winter, a fifth weekly frequency will be operated using the MD-11.

Through its successful transatlantic alliance with Northwest Airlines, KLM will increase capacity on the North Atlantic routes by 6% this winter. KLM will offer better transfer possibilities for passengers, by further improving connections between the North Atlantic and African, Middle Eastern and Indian destinations. On top of existing early morning departures to Boston and Detroit, KLM and Northwest will introduce additional early morning departures from Amsterdam to Washington (2nd frequency) and to New York/JFK (3rd frequency).

Compared to last winter, KLM will increase frequencies to Toronto from 9 to 10 flights per week.

For seasonal reasons, the services to Dallas-Fort Worth and Portland (OR) (introduced this summer) will be continued with 5 flights per week during the coming winter season.

For the European network, KLM has defined 3 central topics in further maturing the seven wave system: more flights, more connectivity and a fleet renewal program. Compared to winter 2007/08, KLM will increase frequencies on Aberdeen, Frankfurt, Bergen and Milan Malpensa. The increase to a daily service on Saint Petersburg is pending governmental approval. The fleet of the recently introduced B737-700 will grow in size, resulting in four aircraft operating in the course of the winter. Furthermore, December will see the introduction of the Embraer 190 to the KLM fleet. This aircraft will replace the F100 aircraft and operate on Stavanger, Oslo, Edinburgh, Zurich and Aberdeen.

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