SkyTeam member KLM is restarting eight routes that were suspended in compliance with COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
The airline will now offer 1X-daily service from Amsterdam (AMS) to Barcelona (BCN), Budapest (BUD), Helsinki (HEL), Madrid (MAD), Milan (MXP), Prague (PRG), Rome (FCO) and Warsaw (WAW).
The Dutch flag-carrier said routes would gradually be reopened from May 4, but may change weekly, depending on measures being taken by the authorities at the destinations. The flights will be on board Embraer aircraft.
During April, KLM operated to a limited number of European destinations while many intercontinental flights are being operated on a cargo-only basis. However, in May the airline hopes to resume 15% of its passenger flights that were flying before the coronavirus outbreak.
From May 11, face masks will be compulsory during boarding and on-board KLM flights. Passengers will be responsible for bringing their own masks. The measures are expected to remain in place until the end of August.
The planned phased resumption of KLM’s network comes after the European Commission this week approved the French government’s €7 billion ($7.7 billion) funding package to help parent Air France-KLM Group withstand the COVID-19 crisis.
EC competition chief Margrethe Vestager said: “The aviation industry is important in terms of jobs and connectivity.
“This €7bn French guarantee and shareholder loan will provide Air France with the liquidity that it urgently needs to withstand the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.”
Vestager made a point of praising France’s decision to link the funding to environmental targets, which is likely to spell the end of most Air France short-haul routes within France.
Photo credit: KLM