Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, KLM has been adapting its network and flight schedule in line with travel restrictions and demand. From 13th July 2020, KLM is set to resume operations between London City Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol.
Linking Central London to the capital city of the Netherlands, the route will begin as a single daily service, with frequency increases expected as demand for travel returns. Throughout the summer period, passengers will have the opportunity to connect to over 100 European and intercontinental destinations via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
Popular with both business and leisure passengers, the route will be operated by KLM subsidiary, KLM Cityhopper using an Embraer 190 aircraft carrying 100 passengers.
Benedicte Duval, General Manager for UK & Ireland said:
“With borders starting to reopen and travel restrictions beginning to ease, safety is a prerequisite for KLM as we gradually resume travel.
“After this challenging period, we are delighted to be able to resume operations from Central London. Our partnership with London City Airport has been a huge success since we first launched the route in February 2016. Pre-covid, we were operating up to 9 flights a day so we look forward to increasing capacity in line with demand over the coming months.
“As we all adapt to this new environment, I can assure you that all KLM staff, both on the ground and on board, are committed to guaranteeing our passengers the highest levels of health & safety.”
Richard Hill, London City Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, added:
“KLM’s return to London City Airport is another positive sign of recovery as we resume passenger flights. We have been working hard with our airline partners to re-establish routes and this is an important milestone, restoring a very popular connection between two of Europe’s most important cities.
“Our customers have told us they want to get back in the air, with 79% saying they will travel as soon as they are told it is safe to do so. It is to places like Amsterdam and London that they want to go, for both business and leisure. And with this quick and convenient route to the Schiphol hub, they can easily travel beyond as well. So, it is great to have KLM back so quickly. With the UK Government looking likely to announce air bridges soon, and given the significance and popularity of this connection, it’s crucial that the Netherlands is covered.
“In order that passengers can book in confidence, we have put in place a range of measures at the airport to help keep them safe – while not sacrificing the the speed through the airport which passengers have always valued and is now more important than ever.”
Protecting Customers and Staff
Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, KLM has introduced many measures around screening and hygiene to protect customers and staff, both on board and at airports. KLM’s policy is based on national (RIVM) and international (WHO, IATA) guidelines and includes:
- The compulsory wearing of face masks for all passengers, crew and airport ground handlers.
- Passengers are responsible for providing their own face masks.
- The modification of customer channels on the ground with the implementation of physical distancing along the customer journey at the airport and the installation of transparent protection screens at airports when possible.
- The implementation of physical distancing in the airport and on board where this is possible. Current low load factors make it possible to separate customers in most circumstances. In cases where this is not possible, compulsory face masks ensure adequate health protection.
- The reinforcement of daily aircraft cleaning procedures, with the disinfection of all surfaces in contact with customers such as armrests, tables and screens.
- Adaptation of the in-flight service to limit interaction between customers and crew members. On domestic flights and short flights in Europe, meal and beverage services have been suspended. On long-haul flights, cabin service is limited and preference is given to individually wrapped products.
- Passengers screenings are conducted on flights to certain destinations in line with government guidance. For flights departing from Amsterdam to Canada, Singapore and South Korea, passengers are physically observed. Passengers flying to the last two destinations receive an additional temperature check.
For a full overview of KLM’s safety measures, please view video here.
In addition, the air in the cabin is renewed every 3 minutes. The air recycling system on board KLM aircraft is equipped with “High Efficiency Particulate Air” or HEPA filters, identical to those used in hospital operating theatres. These filters extract more than 99.99% of the smallest viruses, including those no larger than 0.01 micrometres, thus ensuring that cabin air complies with quality standards. Coronavirus type viruses, ranging in size from 0.08 to 0.16 micrometres, are filtered through the HEPA filters. For more information, please view video here.
In response to the current crisis and subsequent travel restrictions, since 22nd April, KLM offers its customers the opportunity to book with confidence. Date and destination changes up until 30th June 2021 are permitted free of charge. Full KLM rebooking & refund policies are available here.
London City Airport Measures
London City Airport temporarily suspended commercial and private flights between 25th March and 21st June 2020, in response to the escalating public health crisis and government lockdown measures. During the period that commercial operations were suspended, the airport worked behind the scenes to create a safe environment for passengers and staff.
Designed following expert advice to meet official guidance and best practice standards, measures put in place include rapid contact-free temperature checking technology, crowd monitoring technology, an enhanced cleaning regime using an anti-microbial surface treatment, and social distancing procedures such as one-way systems and Perspex screens. Passengers will also be asked to wear face coverings in the airport.
KLM and London City Airport assure passengers that the health and safety of their customers and staff is an absolute priority. Both teams are fully mobilised to ensure the highest levels of health and safety for their customers and to ensure they travel in complete confidence.