KLM’s US Network Almost Restored To Pre-Pandemic Levels

KLM has confirmed that it is now operating flights to almost all of its pre-COVID-19 network in the US. This summer, the airline will operate flights to 16 destinations, just one less than in summer 2019. Come winter, the airline will add two new destinations on its North American network, taking it over 2019 levels.

KLM’s US Network Almost Restored To Pre-Pandemic Levels
KLM’s US network is also back to 2019 levels. The airline will operate flights to 16 North American destinations this summer. Photo: Los Angeles World Airports

Just one short

The one US city that is not getting its usual KLM service this summer is Salt Lake City. Without this destination, KLM is just one route short of its pre-pandemic network across North America. However, KLM is still offering flights to Salt Lake City from Amsterdam via its partner airline, Delta Air Lines.

Aside from this one location, KLM’s network is practically back to “normal.” The airline is even planning to add destinations across the rest of this year. In summer, both Las Vegas and Minneapolis will resume regular operations. Then, in the winter schedule, KLM plans to add Cancun, Mexico, and Orlando, Florida.

The new Orlando route will likely operate four times a week using a Boeing 737-9. It will form part of a triangle of flights connecting Amsterdam with Miami via Orlando. The Cancun flight will be a direct flight operating three times a week.

KLM’s US Network Almost Restored To Pre-Pandemic Levels
KLM will still serve Salt Lake City operating flights using partner Delta Air Lines. Photo: Salt Lake City International Airport

Network or capacity?

Despite offering almost the same number of destinations, KLM’s capacity remains down on its US network. As a result, it might be operating flights to a range of destinations, but the frequency of flights on each route remains lower than 2019 levels.

The airline is taking steps to try to keep its capacity as high as possible. For example, on its route to Boston, the airline used to operate a direct flight. However, it is now offering flights that transfer through New York’s JFK and then use partner Republic Airline to connect to Boston.

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KLM is preparing to increase the frequency and add capacity as demand grows. But for now, its US network remains flexible. KLM President and CEO Pieter Elbers commented,

“It’s very positive that our North American destination network has practically returned to its original level, in terms of the number of destinations. . . Hopefully the travel restrictions for the United States, Canada, and Mexico will be reduced soon, offering our passengers more opportunities to travel once again to North America. An internationally valid vaccination passport would be very helpful for this.”

KLM’s US Network Almost Restored To Pre-Pandemic Levels
KLM is reaming flexible with its network as travel restrictions loosen. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Network Expansions

It is just its US market that KLM is looking to grow. The airline recently announced a slew of new routes to destinations like Thailand, Kenya, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago. These new destinations will launch in November, preparing to capture the winter sun market. All except Cancun will be linked to other destinations.

While KLM is slowly expanding its network and growing back to pre-pandemic levels, it is doing so cautiously. Route frequency remains low, and destinations are often linked or operated by partner airlines. As such, we will likely see more shifts in the KLM network driven by changing demand and travel regulations.

What do you think of KLM’s network? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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