Over the next two years, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will invest more than 100 million Euro’s in the replacement, renewal and upgrading of exteriors and interiors aboard the KLM and KLM cityhopper fleet.“KLM expects that this substantial investment will boost passenger satisfaction and comfort ratings by at least 10%,” said Paul Gregorowitsch, executive vice president - Commercial for KLM NV, at a press conference held at Schiphol on Monday. This conference marked the fact that, 70 years ago, KLM became the first non-American airline to deploy the classic Dakota DC-3.
The entire KLM fleet will be fitted with a fresher, more modern interior. Lighting as well as the color and design of carpets, curtains and partitions have been carefully coordinated. Key aspects of seating comfort will be improved. New seats will be installed aboard the Boeing 737-800 and 900 fleets, and in World Business Class (WBC) aboard the Boeing 747-400 and subsequently the MD-11.
Paul Gregorowitsch commented, “These investments will ensure that KLM’s new product standard, which has already been introduced aboard our new Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s, will be further implemented, guaranteeing a consistent product experience for our customers. The quality of the WBC product aboard the Boeing 747s and MD-11s of our intercontinental fleet will be raised to match the standard aboard our newest Boeing 777s and Airbus A330s. The aim is to offer customers an even better and more pleasant flight.”
The interior and exterior of KLM cityhopper’s 18 Fokker 100s, 21 Fokker 70s, and 14 Fokker 50s will be fully revamped. The aircraft will be fitted with new interiors (carpets and curtains) and the exterior will be repainted to match the livery of the KLM fleet. In addition, all of the airline’s Fokker 100s have already been equipped with more modern air-conditioning systems, allowing the cabin climate to be better adjusted to passengers’ wishes.
KLM’s Boeing 737 fleet (a total of 45 aircraft, including 300s, 400s, 800s and 900s) has been fitted with a more modern and fresher interior (carpets, curtains and partitions). Furthermore, all 18 Boeing 737-800s and 900s have been equipped with the latest Recaro 3510 seat, which will also feature 110-volt inseat power in the KLM Europe Select cabin, allowing passengers to plug in a laptop, for example. The new Recaro seat is one kilogram lighter than the existing seat, which will means it will also be beneficial in terms of fuel economy. The relatively new seats that were taken out of the Boeing 737-800s and 900s will be installed aboard 22 of KLM’s 27 Boeing 737-300s and 400s. The other five aircraft will be equipped with the new Recaro seat.
In addition, the KLM Europe Select cabin aboard the 737 fleet will be further standardized by adjusting seat configuration aboard the Boeing 737-900s to match that of the Boeing 737-300s, 400s and 800s. That means the 737-900 fleet will also have three seats on either side the aisle in the KLM Europe Select cabin. Lighting aboard the Boeing 737 fleet will also be further standardized by equipping all Boeing 737-300s and 400s with the same pleasant lighting as aboard the Boeing 737-800s and 900s.
Similarly, some of the intercontinental fleet (namely, 22 Boeing 747-400s and 10 MD-11s) will be fitted with more modern carpets, curtains and color combinations, as well as partitions made of more modern materials.
The World Business Class cabin in both aircraft types will be raised to meet KLM’s new product standard, by equipping them with Koito lie-flat seats. These seats, which have an audio-and-video-on-demand system and inseat power, are already a feature of the Boeing 777 and Airbus A330. In addition, all TV screens aboard KLM’s Boeing 747-400s will be replaced with Matsushita/Panasonic LCD screens, giving the cabin a more modern look. All of the Economy Class seats aboard the MD-11 fleet will be renewed and will later be equipped with an audio-and-video-on-demand system.
The Economy Class cabin aboard the airline’s MD-11s will be reconfigured from 2-4-3 to 3-3-3 seats side-by-side, with aisles between each set of three seats.