KLM has announced that it will be adding a new route to Poland, its fifth city in the country. The Dutch airline shared in a press release on August 13th that the move was part of a cautious schedule improvement. Earlier this year, the airline suffered its largest-ever financial setback and is now battling the COVID-19 effect.
KLM to fly to Poznan
Despite the pandemic, there has been no shortage of airlines opening up new routes in their networks. While it’s also crucial for carriers to deliver services on existing routes, new routes have the potential to garner new customers.
KLM has taken this approach in launching a route to its fifth Polish city. The airline said in a statement this week that from October 25th, it will offer daily flights between Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) and Poznań Airport (POZ). The airline already provides routes to Gdansk, Krakow, Warsaw, and Wroclaw.
The schedule for the Poznan route is as follows:
- KL1273 leaves Schiphol Airport at 13:40 UTC and arrives at Poznan Airport at 15:20 UTC.
- KL1274 leaves Poznan Airport at 15:50 UTC and arrives at Schiphol Airport at 18:35 UTC.
The flight will be operated by an Embraer 175 with 68 economy and 20 business class seats.
Will the new Polish route be a success?
KLM has said that the new route to Poland will offer KLM customers more choice. The airline has decided to provide this new service while being mindful of the current international travel dynamic. It says that while this route will see it develop its presence in the country, it will also improve on travel demand in other areas of its network.
KLM has previously been vocal about the fact that new border restrictions on previously relaxed countries are negatively affecting travel demand.
In the statement from August 13th, the airline said:
“Poznan is new in the KLM network. By adding this destination, KLM strengthens its position on the Polish market and absorbs the drop in demand on other routes in Europe.”
In terms of travel safety within the country, Poland is a safe bet. It currently has a coronavirus mortality rate of 3.36%, with 55,319 confirmed cases. It has mask-wearing restrictions in place on public transport as well as in shops and restaurants. However, it has recently removed the need to wear masks outside, unless social distancing cannot be practiced.
KLM looking for better financials
KLM will likely be putting a lot of faith in this new route after it suffered the worst financial loss in its history earlier this year. The airline’s operating income fell by nearly one billion euros in the first half of the year. It recorded a loss of €768m ($909m) between January and June.
Though in July it operated 30% of its scheduled network, KLM says that passenger revenues are still struggling to recover. It hopes that new routes and increased frequencies on existing routes will help to stabilize its balance sheets.
In a recent press release on its financials, KLM shared,
“In the months ahead, KLM will continue to expand its European and intercontinental network. This is an important step towards recovery, albeit both limited and cautious. The road to recovery will be long and fraught with uncertainty.”
Could Poland be the answer to its financial woes?
How successful do you think the new route to Poznan will be? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.