Date: 08 Jul 2020
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, KLM has been adapting its network and flight schedule in line with travel restrictions and demand. KLM flights from Belfast City were suspended end of March when air travel came to a virtual standstill, with only 5% of the carrier’s global network scheduled for operation in April and May.
From 3rd August, KLM will resume operations between Belfast City Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport using an Embraer 175 aircraft, carrying 88 passengers. Throughout the summer period, passengers will have the opportunity to connect to over 100 European and intercontinental destinations via Amsterdam, offering worldwide connectivity to and from Belfast city centre. Flights are on sale now.
Benedicte Duval, General Manager for UK & Ireland said,
“2020 is an important year for KLM and our partners at Belfast City Airport as we celebrate 5 years of operation. Having first launched the route back in May 2015, we are delighted to be in a position to welcome our Northern Irish customers back on board, despite the recent challenges for our industry. The resumption of the daily service between Belfast City and Amsterdam is testament to our long term
commitment to the region.
“As borders reopen and travel restrictions begin to ease, safety is a prerequisite for KLM as we gradually resume travel and as we all adapt to this new environment, I can assure you that all KLM staff, both on the ground and on board, are committed to guaranteeing our passengers the highest levels of health & safety."
Katy Best, Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport, said:
“KLM resuming its service from Belfast City in August is really positive news. This year celebrates the fifth anniversary of our partnership with KLM and the Amsterdam route which has performed very well.
“This route provides additional choice for our passengers who may be looking to plan a short break in the Netherlands or indeed to one of KLM’s onward connections.”
KLM is gradually rebuilding its global network, opting to restart as many destinations as possible and then increasing frequencies and capacity. For July, KLM expects to operate 80% of the normal number of European destinations and 75% of intercontinental destinations. This will increase to 95% and 80% respectively for August. However, it should be noted that at present, 50% of intercontinental flights are cargo only. When international travel restrictions are relaxed, KLM will start carrying passengers to these destinations again.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, KLM and Belfast City Airport have introduced a range of health & safety measures to protect customers and staff, both on board and at airports.
Belfast City Airport continues to follow all relevant directives for airports in relation to Covid-19. Measures have been taken to enable passengers to socially distance in the terminal and hand sanitising units are available throughout the passenger journey. Staff within the airport are wearing the relevant PPE and passengers are asked to wear a face covering whilst in the terminal. The airport has also deployed additional staff dedicated to terminal cleansing.
Guidance and advice for passengers at Belfast City Airport are detailed in this animation.
KLM's policy is based on international (WHO, IATA) guidelines, and includes:
- The compulsory wearing of masks for all passengers, airline crew and airport handling agents in contact with customers
- The modification of customer channels on the ground with the implementation of physical distancing along the customer journey at the airport and the installation of transparent protection screens at airports when possible
- The implementation of physical distancing in the airport and on board where this is possible. Current low load factors make it possible to separate customers in most circumstances. In cases where this is not possible, compulsory face masks ensure adequate health protection.
- The reinforcement of daily aircraft cleaning procedures, with the disinfection of all surfaces in contact with customers such as armrests, tables and screens
- Adapting in-flight service to limit interaction between customers and crew members. On short flights within Europe, meal and beverage services have been suspended. On long-haul flights, cabin service is limited and preference is given to individually wrapped products.
- Passengers screenings are conducted on flights to certain destinations in line with government guidance. For flights departing from Amsterdam to Canada, Singapore and South Korea, passengers are physically observed. Passengers flying to the last two destinations receive an additional temperature check.
For a full overview of KLM’s safety measures, please view video here
In addition, the air in the cabin is renewed every 3 minutes. The air recycling system on board KLM aircraft is equipped with "High Efficiency Particulate Air" or HEPA filters, identical to those used in hospital operating theatres. These filters extract more than 99.99% of the smallest viruses, including those no larger than 0.01 micrometres, thus ensuring that cabin air complies with quality standards. Coronavirus type viruses, ranging in size from 0.08 to 0.16 micrometres, are filtered through the HEPA filters. For more information, please view video here
In response to the current crisis and subsequent travel restrictions, since 22nd April, KLM offers its customers the opportunity to book with confidence. Date and destination changes up until 30th June 2021 are permitted free of charge. Full KLM rebooking & refund policies are available here.
KLM and Belfast City Airport remind passengers that the health and safety of their customers and staff is an absolute priority. Both teams are fully mobilized to ensure the highest levels of health and safety for their customers and to ensure they travel in complete confidence.
Flights can be booked now at www.klm.com.