KLM has brought back much of its international network to the Caribbean and South America. The airline is back to its 2019-levels of strength in terms of destinations served. KLM flies to a total of 17 destinations across Latin America and South America, and it plans to add two more this winter. Here is a look at KLM’s Latin America and Caribbean network.
KLM’s Caribbean and Latin America network
KLM has been building up its network of long-haul international flying. Now, the airline is back to a strong position in the Caribbean and Latin America. The airline is flying to 17 destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America:
- Aruba (AUA)
- Bogota (BOG)
- Bonaire (BON)
- Buenos Aires (EZE)
- Cartagena (CTG)
- Curaçao (CUR)
- Guayaquil (GYE)
- Liberia (LIR)
- Lima (LIM)
- Panama City (PTY)
- Paramaribo (PBM)
- Quito (UIO)
- Rio de Janeiro (GIG)
- San Jose (SJO) in Costa Rica
- Santiago (SCL)
- São Paulo (GRU)
- St. Maarten (SXM)
Missing from this list is Mexico City (MEX), which takes the airline’s overall destinations in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Mexico to 18 cities.
All of the cities are connected to Amsterdam. However, KLM is currently flying some triangle routes in the region. This includes AMS-UIO-GYE-AMS, AMS-SJO-LIR-AMS, and AMS-BOG-CTG-AMS, just as a few examples.
Frequencies do vary depending on the route. During the high season, KLM has expanded flying to the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire, and Curaçao. From 17 flights a week to these three islands in 2019, KLM is now flying 24 flights a week to destinations in this region.
KLM is also flying some significant widebodies to the region. This includes the Boeing 777-300ER, 777-200ER, and 787. The type of aircraft KLM flies depends on the route and may change based on the date.
KLM President and CEO, Pieter Elbers, stated the following on the airline’s returning network:
“It’s great news that our network in the Caribbean Region and South America has as good as returned to its previous strength. We’re currently operating our entire global network at 60% capacity with 40% of the passengers.”
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Changes to KLM’s network in the region
KLM has made some changes to its operations in this region of the world. San Jose and Liberia, in Costa Rica, were added to the summer schedule in 2021, after previously being winter-only destinations.
However, KLM has suspended services to Havana, Cuba, and Fortaleza, Brazil, due to the crisis. This keeps KLM’s network in terms of the number of destinations constant in summer 2021 compared to summer 2019.
Furthermore, later this year, KLM will be adding services to Port of Spain (POS) in Trinidad and Tobago and Bridgetown (BGI) in Barbados. Flights will start in the winter of 2021.
Coming back in the region
Similar to KLM’s route network to Africa, many countries in Latin America and the Caribbean are open for essential travel. Restrictions like mandatory quarantines or PCR testing are in place at some destinations, while others have reopened for tourism with a negative test result or else with proof of vaccination. Some are even easier to access than that.
Another aspect to consider is also cargo. KLM has continued to fly to many destinations that may not welcome large numbers of passengers to help keep vital cargo like medical supplies to continue to fly in and out of destinations.
This also helps KLM scale up frequencies when further rules are relaxed. Latin America has been hit hard by the virus, and the situation continues to unfold in many countries in the region. This is a setback for KLM, but it is certainly not giving up on the region. Coupled with its sister airline, Air France, the two carriers have a significant presence in this region.
Are you planning to fly KLM to Latin America or the Caribbean this summer or winter? Let us know in the comments!