KLM Suspends All Flights To And From The UK

Dutch airline KLM has canceled all flights to and from the United Kingdom for a week, starting tomorrow. During the next hour, seven of KLM’s 737 and Embraer aircraft will depart for Newcastle, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Birmingham, and London Heathrow. But, instead of staying in the UK overnight to depart on scheduled services back to Amsterdam tomorrow early morning, they will all return to the Netherlands without passengers, presumably tonight. From tomorrow, for at least a week, there will be no KLM flights to the UK.

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Two KLM 737 aircraft will depart Amsterdam for the UK tonight, but neither will return with passengers on board. Photo: Getty Images

KLM cancels all flights to the UK

KLM has canceled all of its scheduled flights between Amsterdam and the UK. The list of affected services is long. The news comes just two days after the Dutch airline announced it would be halting its intercontinental network for an indefinite period of time. The news also shows that the airline industry is entering a period almost as dark as was the spring of 2020, when travel restrictions were first imposed.

The cancelations start tomorrow, Saturday 23rd January, and last until Thursday 28th January. At this stage, it is unclear whether this is a temporary suspension lasting for a week only or if the cancelations will continue into February as well. Simple Flying has contacted a KLM representative for a comment.

E175 Cityhopper KLM
At this stage, it is unclear whether the cancelations will run into February as well. Photo: Getty Images

Which flights are affected?

The routes immediately affected are the return rotations for the seven KLM flights that will depart Amsterdam for the UK tonight, over the next 90 minutes. These seven rotations, which are operating tonight, are as follows:

  • KL1033 to London Heathrow (LHR) at 20:35, operated by a Boeing 737-8K2 (PH-BXL)
  • KL1435 to Birmingham (BHX) at 21:00, operated by an Embraer E175STD (PH-EXM)
  • KL1451 to Aberdeen (ABZ) at 21:20, operated by an Embraer E175STD (PH-EXH)
  • KL1481 to Glasgow (GLA) at 21:25, operated by an Embraer E190STD (PH-EZZ)
  • KL1493 to Edinburgh (EDI) at 21:35, operated by an Embraer E190STD (PH-EZU)
  • KL1083 to Manchester (MAN) at 21:45, operated by a Boeing 737-7K2 (PH-BGT)
  • KL965 to Newcastle (NCL) at 21:50, operated by an Embraer E175STD (PH-EXG)

They will all depart Amsterdam in their regular capacity, as scheduled overnight passenger services to airports across England and Scotland. However, their return to the Netherlands will not be regular. These seven aircraft were supposed to spend the night in the UK and then operate scheduled flights back to Amsterdam early tomorrow morning, timed carefully to feed KLM’s European and intercontinental late-morning departure wave. But, instead, they will return to the Netherlands empty, with no passengers on board.

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The cancelation of international flights has surely made KLM’s services to the UK less financially feasible for the time being. Photo: Getty Images

All other services departing to and from these destinations to Amsterdam have been canceled too, with some routes, like London-Amsterdam, suffering several cancelations per day. Also affected are other KLM routes into the United Kingdom that do not operate overnight on Fridays/Saturdays, including flights to London City (LCY) and Leeds Bradford (LBA). Services to Bristol have already been canceled previously.

How long do you think the cancelations will last? Will KLM stop flying to the UK in February too? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.