Overall, seat capacity for the Air France KLM Group is to increase by 5.2% in the forthcoming 2007/2008 winter season compared to the same season last year, rising 6.2% in the long-haul network and 1.8% in the short and medium-haul network.KLM will mainly be boosting long-haul capacity to destinations in the Gulf and in cooperation with Northwest Airlines on transatlantic routes, while Air France will be pursuing growth in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
In relation to the medium-haul network, Air France will strengthen its position in London City and will increase flight frequencies to North Africa. KLM’s increased capacity in the medium-haul network mainly relates to destinations in Northern and Eastern Europe.
Middle East Expansion
In the Middle East KLM will increase capacity by 14.6% compared to last winter. With the addition of five weekly services to Muscat (Oman) effective December 3, KLM will expand the total number of destinations in its intercontinental network to 60. Operated with an intermediate stop in Kuwait, the new Airbus A330-200 service increases the number of destinations in this region to eight. Furthermore, compared to last winter, KLM will increase its weekly frequencies to Dubai from 13 to 14 and the combined service to Doha and Dammam from four to five. Twice-daily operations to Dubai are carried out using Boeing 777-200 equipment. The Dammam and Doha flights will be operated using Airbus 330-200 aircraft. In so doing, KLM will be deploying its most modern fleet to this important business region.
KLM will increase capacity on these routes by 8.9%. In comparison with previous winter, the airline will increase flight frequency from Amsterdam to Toronto from seven to nine flights a week and to Atlanta from five flights a week to daily service. KLM will also increase capacity from Amsterdam to San Francisco, operating daily service using Boeing 777-200 equipment.
Compared to last winter, Northwest Airlines will increase transatlantic frequencies from its Detroit and Minneapolis hubs by adding a fourth daily service from Detroit to Amsterdam using Boeing 757 equipment in transatlantic configuration over and above the three existing A330 flights, and a third daily service from Minneapolis to Amsterdam using Airbus 330-300 equipment. Additionally, Northwest will continue to operate the Boeing 757 flights between Amsterdam and Hartford introduced this summer, along with the second daily service between Amsterdam and Boston and the service between Detroit and Düsseldorf.
Air France and KLM will expand their operations on the Shanghai route, serving the city with 22 return flights a week: 10 flights from Amsterdam Schiphol and 12 flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle.
Both airlines will operate a total of 63 frequencies to China this winter.
KLM will continue to grow capacity and improve customer options this winter in the Latin American network. The direct Lima flight will be operated daily using B777-200 equipment as from mid-December. The sixth weekly frequency to Guayaquil and Quito introduced in summer 2007 will be continued for Ecuador and KLM will deploy its first B777-300 to São Paulo. From March 2008, three out of the seven weekly frequencies will be operated using this equipment, increasing seat capacity to Brazil by more than 10%.
KLM will add two weekly MD-11 frequencies to Hyderabad in India, gradually introduced during the winter season (from 4 to 6 flights a week). Additionally, KLM will raise capacity on its daily flights to Delhi by utilizing Boeing 747-400 equipment.
In line with the summer schedule, KLM will continue to offer expanded European frequencies this winter to destinations including Barcelona, Moscow, Stavanger and Tallinn. This forms part of the further rollout of the seven-wave system introduced in summer 2006, providing passengers with more flight options and better incoming and outgoing flight connections at Schiphol airport.
KLM and Air France will further balance the capacity on flights between The Netherlands and France. Air France will continue to operate the flights between Amsterdam and Lyon.
Meanwhile KLM will raise its daily frequency between Amsterdam and Marseille from two to three flights. A total of eight cities in France now have nonstop connections to Amsterdam. Overall capacity in KLM’s medium-haul network will increase by 1.3%.
KLM will welcome its first Boeing 777-300ER in February 2008. This aircraft will be used to operate flights to São Paulo and Dubai. KLM will continue its cabin modification program by upgrading its MD-11 and Boeing 747-400 World Business Class, installing new lie-flat seats and the same advanced inflight entertainment system featured in the Airbus 330-200 and Boeing 777-200 fleet.