Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 12:02
KLM increasing capacity, destinations
KLM will this Summer be adding 2.6 percent more capacity than last year, the airline announced Wednesday. More chairs will be available for passengers traveling inside Europe. Thanks to more efficient use of the existing fleet, 7.8 percent more seats will be made available. On longer flights, capacity will be increased by 1.5 percent, nu.nl reports. Last Summer, there were 67 available European destinations in KLM's service, this will be increased to 71. KLM is adding Bilbao, in Northern Spain, Croatia's capital Zagreb, and Florence in Italy. The European fleet will be expanded with a 48th Boeing 737. Extra capacity is being added by having planes depart to their next destination sooner after landing. Sister company Air France is seeing less of the European expansion. Intercontinental flights with Air France are being increased with 2.2 percent, while European and local flights are retracting 2.3 percent capacity. There is still a total increase of 1.2 percent. The Summer flights are increasing by 1.7 percent between the 30th of March and the 25th of October. The Air France-KLM group insists that they are choosing for a "controlled expansion", with extra capacity in upcoming markets. According to Bloomberg, this makeover comes after a threat of bankruptcy. "We can't compete with these Gulf and Asian carriers without providing the best service and product in class" CEO Alexandre de Juniac told Bloomberg. Along with adding some luxuries for premium flyers, Air France-KLM is also planning on a partnership with Kenya Airways that lets carriers place passengers on each others' flights. The company is looking to Africa for its future, as low-cost carriers are fierce competition in Europe as well as abroad.