Following the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine, demand for long-haul leisure travel is expected to spike. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is one of many airlines looking to resume operations, though it is also adding new routes to its schedule.
KLM is reinstating a number of popular long-haul routes from Schiphol this winter, including flights to Orlando and Phuket four times a week, Barbados, Cancun, and Port of Spain three times a week, and Mombasa twice a week.
Chief Executive of KLM, Peiter Elbers, said “this represents the next significant step towards rebuilding [KLM’s] network for the benefit of our customers.” He added that as many as 99 European destinations will be served during the summer of 2021, also significantly strengthening their intercontinental network for this winter.
Connections to Schiphol, Amsterdam, will be also offered from throughout the UK, with Teesside International Airport’s long running flight link due to resume on 28 June, following a pause due to Covid-19 restrictions. This flight will operate four times a week.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen confirmed this service, disclosing that “Ever since the government has started to ease restrictions, I’ve been inundated with emails, social media messages and questions from people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool all asking the same thing, ‘When are KLM coming back to the airport?’”.
Last June, KLM and Teesside Airport signed a five-year deal. KLM is a long-standing partner of the airport and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2019, marking its best month in 14 years for the Teesside to Amsterdam route in September of that year. Peiter Elbers states that he is confident the business level will return to this point. “Aviation will come back for sure. It will recover. There is a future.”