KLM announced yesterday that it would be resuming flights to the Chinese city of Hangzhou via Seoul from late August. It is the airline’s second China route to reopen as the Chinese government relaxes travel restrictions. The move comes as the airline slowly extends its international route network in the wake of the pandemic.
KLM reopens second Chinese destination
In a press release yesterday, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines said that from August 27, it would be flying again to Hangzhou, China, via Seoul Incheon in South Korea. The Dutch flag carrier is initially planning one flight per week to the Chinese city operated by a Boeing 777-200. The airline also said that it is making every effort to add a second flight each week on the route.
Flight KL-0857 will depart from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on Thursdays at 18:55, arriving in Seoul Incheon at 12:25 the following day. Then, flight KL-0821 leaves Seoul at 13:50 and arrives in Hangzhou at 15:00.
The return flight, KL-0822, departs from Hangzhou on Fridays at 18:50, arriving in Seoul at 21:55. Flight KL-0858 then departs Seoul on Saturday at 00:25, arriving in Amsterdam at 04:45. All times are local.
KLM resumed flights to China in July
As the global pandemic bit deep, passenger flights to China were suspended at the beginning of February this year. KLM continued to carry cargo to and from China during the crisis. The Dutch carrier resumed passenger flights to Shanghai on July 21, with one service per week operated by a 777-300.
The airline said that the reopening of the route between Amsterdam and Shanghai emphasized the importance of the Chinese market for the carrier. The friendly connection between China and KLM saw the Economic Counsellor from the Chinese Embassy and KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers at Schiphol to see off the first flight. Mr. Elbers said,
“The resumption of flights to Shanghai is a cautious but positive sign of recovery and illustrates our good relationship with China and our partners there. KLM is carefully expanding its network to make sure our customers have as much choice of destinations as possible. The fact that we can now offer Shanghai again is an important milestone in the laborious reconstruction of the KLM route network at a difficult time.”
KLM is, of course, complying with the strict travel regulations imposed by the Chinese government for resuming international flights. In addition to extra hygiene measures onboard the aircraft, passengers will have to complete an online health declaration form, and their temperature will be checked before boarding.
Dutch carrier returns to Cairo after three years
On August 18, KLM announced that it would be temporarily operating twice-weekly flights to Cairo from September 9 to October 25. It will be the first time the airline has operated passenger services to the Egyptian capital since 2017, although it continued cargo operations to the city.
The company will decide in early September whether Cairo will be added to its network of winter destinations. It will also assess whether or not to increase flight frequencies and capacity.
KLM has a long history of flying to Cairo, having made its first flight to the city on September 28, 1930.
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