Following the relaxation of travel restrictions by the Chinese government, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines decided to reopen the Amsterdam-Shanghai route. The flights to mainland China were suspended at the beginning of February, due to the epidemic outbreak.
On 20 April, the company restarted the cargo airlift flights for the transport of medical supplies. The day after, on 21 April, KLM restarted also passenger flights. Nowadays, KLM operates one flight per week to Shanghai, with a Boeing 777-300 and makes a stop in Seoul (South Korea) on both outbound and inbound flights.
By restarting the flights from Amsterdam to Shanghai, KLM wants to emphasize the importance of the Chinese market in its network. The restarting of the flights was boosted by the warm ties between Mr. Zhang Guosheng, Economic Counselor Chinese Embassy, and Mr. Pieter Elbers, KLM’s CEO.
“The reopening of the Amsterdam-Shanghai route is a cautious, yet positive, sign of recovery. It illustrates our good relationship with China and our Chinese partners. KLM is expanding its network to offer our customers a wider choice in terms of destinations. Being able to reoffer flights to China again is an important sign of the reconstruction of the KLM route network during this difficult time,” asserted Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO.
New safety measures
Naturally, KLM wants to ensure a safe flight for both the passengers and the crew. Thus, the airline has taken several safety measures. For instance, face masks are mandatory when boarding and during the flight; all aircrafts have been equipped with hand sanitizer and are thoroughly cleaned; and the air onboard is refreshed using HEPA filters.
KLM complies with the strict requirements set by the Chinese government for the resumption of international flights. Because of that, all passengers must fill an online health declaration form and their temperature must be checked. Even the toilets must be inspected very frequently during the flight. The contact moments between crew and passengers must be as few as possible, and, consequently, there is limited catering on these flights.