KLM: Flights to resume to Seoul this weekend
KLM announced that it will resume flights to Seoul starting on Saturday. After the weekend, KLM will fly daily to Seoul, with flights on some days continuing on to either Shanghai or Hangzhou in China. KLM did not provide any clarity about when flights to Japan can resume. That is still under discussion.
KLM stopped using Russian airspace last week because European airlines are not allowed to bring spare parts into Russia, even for their own use, due to sanctions imposed on that company after its military invaded Ukraine. KLM scrapped flights to several Asian destinations late last week because it needed to fly over Russia to get to cities in South Korea, Japan, and China. Soon after, Russia closed its airspace to Dutch airlines once the Netherlands closed its airspace to Russian aircraft.
The new timetable resolves part of this issue by flying around Russia via Kazakhstan. Flights departing from Schiphol will thus take 1.5 hours longer. The return journey takes 2 hours and 25 minutes longer.
Additionally, KLM said it will operate a one-time flight to Beijing via South Korea on March 13 to get people to the Paralympic Games.
KLM emphasized that such detours also entail additional costs. The extra costs depend on a number of factors such as wind direction and cargo weight. The airline said that the costs are variable. For the time being, these extra costs will have no effect on ticket prices, because they are determined by market developments.
Until the closure of the Russian Federation’s airspace, KLM flew more than fourteen times a week to and from destinations in China, Japan, and South Korea. In addition, the flight frequency was already lower compared to the situation before the coronavirus crisis because of the restrictions that still apply in many countries.
Reporting by ANP