KLM cancels the US-bound routes, notes that recovery is at risk
Three out of twelve routes are closed
KLM will cancel three of its twelve American destinations this winter, as the national governments tightens travel measures for Americans. That puts the recovery of the company at risk, because other countries do not follow that step.
“The Dutch decision to tighten measures for American travelers is a significant step backwards for us,” says a spokesperson for the company. “As a result, we are forced to remove the planned new flights from Amsterdam to Orlando, Miami and Las Vegas from the winter schedule.”
There are a total of nine flights per week, for which tickets have already been sold. The passengers affected will be re-booked if they still wish to travel.
The intervention is inevitable because KLM expects the aircraft to remain empty after the Dutch tightening. “The fact that the Dutch government has designated America as a very high risk area means that vaccinated travelers from the United States who are in possession of a negative test certificate or repair certificate have to quarantine in the Netherlands for another ten days.”
Other EU member states, such as Italy, France and Belgium, have less stringent rules for travelers from the US. This means that Americans will opt for flights to those countries and will still be able to travel to the Netherlands from there.
In this way KLM is seriously disadvantaged and the recovery of society is at risk. “All these ongoing travel restrictions make normal operations impossible. This significantly slows KLM’s recovery in 2021 and 2022, ” the spokesperson said.
The fact that 1 October also stops the now aid-of which KLM was the largest recipient-makes this even more serious. “We understand that salary support cannot continue indefinitely, but at the same time the travel restrictions imposed are still ongoing. NOW is aimed at supporting companies that suffer a significant loss of revenue as a result of the crisis. This support is therefore still extremely important for the travel and tourism industry.”
Other airlines do not understand the fact that the Netherlands is taking measures again. According to Chairman Marnix Fruitema of trade association Barin, a quarantine obligation for vaccinated Americans is a ‘delusion’. At the beginning of this year, the organization was already in hope of Dutch demands, which meant that travelers had to get double testing.
“Politics therefore has no idea of the ratio between measures, the lack of effectiveness and the absolutely disproportionate effects. I really wonder why the Netherlands wants to take another exceptional position in Europe? Or are our government, OMT and RIVM so much smarter? The country is ruled by political ignoramuses who do not stand with their feet in society.”