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KLM Prepares To Operate At Half Capacity This Winter

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KLM Fleet At Amsterdam Airport

The planned upscaling of KLM’s European network in September has been put on hold owing to adjusted travel warnings, prompting Code Orange (essential travel only) designations for the UK, Spain, parts of France and other countries. Compared to August KLM’s route network in September and October remains stable.


Parked KLM Fleet, Image Rights: Marco Spuyman
Parked KLM Fleet, Image copyight: Marco Spuyman

The European Commission has announced the extension of the ‘slot waiver’ to the entire winter timetable. This has enabled KLM to respond more adequately to the rapidly changing market conditions as a result of COVID-19, even during the winter season. 

In addition to the financial impact, operating less well-filled flights would also be undesirable from a sustainability perspective.


“We are making all possible savings within the group and in the companies, which is essential to be able to get through the months to come.”

Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith told French daily L’Opinion

He believes that it may take until 2024 for Air France-KLM Group’s business to return to the level of 2019.


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, KLM’s winter schedule will be a lot more restricted than it was in the same period last year. The timetable for the European network in November is currently around 55% of capacity in 2019.

KLM was gradually and responsibly expanding its European and intercontinental network, after the corona crisis had prompted severe restrictions on destinations and frequencies. 

KLM’s primary aim is to offer customers the widest range of destinations, after which we will consider increasing the number of frequencies or expanding capacity by deploying larger aircraft.

In August, KLM served almost 100% of its European network in terms of destinations, with capacity at approximately 60% compared to pre-corona levels.

  • Effective 25 October 2020, KLM will begin operating daily flights to the Polish city of Poznan.


Intercontinentally, KLM served 80% of its destinations at 60% capacity. At present, a third of these intercontinental flights are carrying cargo only. This means seat capacity is way down. KLM will carry passengers on these flights again as soon as local travel regulations allow.

  • From the beginning of September, KLM will resume a twice-weekly service to the Chinese city of Hangzhou, flying via Seoul Incheon in South Korea. 
  • KLM will also operate a twice-weekly service to Cairo.
  • Riyadh will also be added to the KLM network as a new destination (original start was September 26th, but is now scheduled for December 7th). 
  • On 29 October, KLM will also start a circle flight to add Edmonton back to the Canadian network. The flight will depart to Calgary, then call at Edmonton and fly back to Amsterdam.

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Route Network

Singapore Airlines To Bring Back The World’s Longest Non-Stop Service To JFK

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Singapore Airlines A350 Livery

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will return to New York on 9 November 2020, when it launches non-stop flights between Singapore and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Before the pandemic, Singapore Airlines host the title of flying the world’s longest flight by a whooping distance of 15,344 km between Singapore Changi and Newark Liberty airport. The airlines claims by shifting to JFK International Airport would allow them to better accommodate a mix of passenger and cargo traffic on its services to New York in the current operating climate. 


Singapore Airlines’s non-stop services to New York would also be supported by the growing number of transfer passengers who can now transit via Singapore’s Changi Airport.

SIA also anticipates significant cargo demand from a range of industries based in the New York metro area, including pharmaceuticals, e-commerce and technology firms. 

The new service will provide the only non-stop air cargo link from the U.S. Northeast to Singapore, which serves as a regional distribution hub for many major U.S.-based companies.


Singapore Airlines Business Class Onboard B787
Singapore Airlines Business Class Onboard B787

Singapore Airlines will also be operating the route with a 3-class configuration Airbus A350-900 long-range aircraft. This aircraft is configured with 42 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy Class and 187 Economy Class seats.

Today, SIA operates non-stop services to Los Angeles.

It will continue to review its operations to the United States, and assess the growing demand for air travel amid the ongoing recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, before deciding to reinstate services to other points in the country.


“Operating these flights between Singapore and New York’s JFK International Airport represent an important step in the rebuilding of our global network.

Non-stop ultra-long services are the bedrock of our services to the key U.S. market. We will continue to ramp up existing services and reinstate other points as the demand for both passenger and cargo services return.

Despite the challenging times for the airline industry, there are some early signs of optimism about a recovery in air travel.

Our customers say that they are increasingly confident about air travel, given the robust health and safety measures that are in place, as well as testing regimes to protect them and our staff.

This optimism is also driven by recent moves by countries such as Singapore, which are easing the restrictions on both transit and inbound passengers in a safe and gradual manner.”

Lee Lik Hsin, Executive Vice President Commercial for Singapore Airlines

Resuming New York Services From A New Home

Details of the flight services are shown below:

FlightFlight DaysDeparture Time*Arrival Time*Flight Time
SQ 24 SIN-JFKMon, Wed, Sat22573018 hours 5 minutes
SQ 23 JFK-SINMon, Wed, Fri22300610 (+2 days)18 hours 40 minutes
*All timings in local time

Starting on 9 November 2020, flight number SQ24 will operate from Singapore Changi Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport three-times weekly, and same return frequencies under SQ23 will be flown from 11 November 2020.

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