KLM reports a 54% drop in passenger numbers for March

KLM reports a 54% drop in passenger numbers for March

  • In addition to the number of passengers, air traffic and seat capacity decreased by 49% and 32% respectively
  • The Dutch carrier is now operating only 10% of its flights compared to a year ago
  • KLM is helping to create a cargo air bridge between the Netherlands and China for the transportation of medica

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (OTCMKTS:KLMR), the national carrier of the Netherlands, reported that the number of passengers across the network plunged 54% compared to the same period last year. 

KLM also said that it witnessed a drop in traffic of 49% (expressed in revenue passenger kilometres), in addition to a tumble of 32% in seat capacity (expressed in available seat kilometres).

“The coronavirus pandemic is having a massive impact on the KLM Group. Within a very short space of time, we have literally had to park almost everything – and this embraces a workforce of around 30,000 people, 700 flights a day, and brilliantly oiled operations serving customers worldwide,” said KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers.

The carrier said that the drop in passenger number was the most significant for flights to Asia, Europe and North Africa. Given that preventive measures against the COVID-19 outbreak are still in force in the majority of the world, KLM is operating only 10% of its flights compared to a year ago. 

“The global economic impact of Covid-19 is enormous and it is unclear when KLM’s worldwide network will again be operating at its previous levels,” added Elbers. 

In addition, KLM suspended all operations for Transavia, its wholly owned low-cost subsidiary.

In order to facilitate a rapid transportation of medical equipment and other supplies around the world, KLM, Royal Philips and the Dutch government created a special cargo air bridge between the Netherlands and China for these purposes. 

“I believe it is incredibly important that KLM can be of service to broader Dutch society in this time of crisis, by way of our flexibility, creativity and cooperation with partners. This is perfectly exemplified by the initiative from Philips to join hands with KLM in seeking a solution for freeing up cargo capacity between Europe and China for essential medical supplies,” said Elbers. 

KLM will organize two weekly flights to Beijing and three weekly flights to Shanghai for air transportation of cargo. 

Invezz reported two days ago that KLM grounded the vast majority of its planes at its base at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and it is only operating repatriation flights.

By Michael Harris
Specialising in economics by academia, with a passion for financial trading, Michael Harris has been a regular contributor to Invezz. His passion has given him first hand experience of trading, while his writing means he understands the market forces and wider regulation.

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