Quantcast
Latest Stories

KLM is here to stay

By

JURRIAAN Stelder

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is leaving no stone unturned to attract more passengers to Europe, from a growing Southeast Asian market.

It was the last airline to fly nonstop from Amsterdam to Manila, and vice versa.

How is it gearing up for a good passenger traffic to Europe? By refurbishing its fleet, its business class, among other moves.

KLM has been flying to Manila for the past 61 years. From 2004 until last year, it was the only airline offering nonstop flights between Europe and the Philippines. But because of high Philippine taxes, the airlines had to discontinue the service, said Jurriaan Stelder, KLM’s general manager for South China Sea.

It now flies from Manila to Amsterdam via Taipei, and back.

High fuel prices have also reduced the profitability of long-haul routes. Even KLM—the largest airline in Europe after it partnered with Air France in 2004—was hit hard.

The partnership between the two airlines has a network of 24 destinations and offers more than 200 weekly flights between Asia and Europe.

Low-cost carriers

However, even such a thriving partnership is affected by the growing market share of low-cost carriers.

“Today, one out of four passengers in Asia is traveling low cost,” said Stelder. “Air France KLM is cooperating where necessary with low-cost carriers like Jetstar.”

KLM, unlike Air France, still flies daily to Manila from Amsterdam, but with an intermediate stop in Taipei. It won’t abandon the route anytime soon.

KLM’S new design guiding principle is to make passengers feel at home.

It has announced moves to face stiffer competition in the growing Southeast Asian market.

With the Philippine government’s removal of the common carriers tax earlier this year, a considerable burden on the airline has been lifted, making it more attractive for KLM to grow again in the Philippines.

“Unfortunately, the current economic climate in Europe does not yet allow a return to nonstop operation within a short period,” Stelder said through e-mail. “In the meantime, KLM is on a path of increasing seat capacity on the route.”

Sense of dread

While some European airlines are viewing the steady expansion of Middle Eastern airlines to Asia and Europe with a sense of dread, KLM is confident that its “excellent prices and competitive service” will help it prevail and maintain its position in the market.

Apart from offering reliable and efficient ground and flight operations, including excellent on-board service such as catering and in-flight entertainment, KLM has one advantage over its competitors. “We provide passengers convenient connecting possibilities to other destinations in Europe and beyond via Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport, undoubtedly one of the best airports in the world,” said Stelder.

“KLM is making it more attractive to fly to Europe by offering a free stopover in Amsterdam, he added. “This will give our customers the opportunity to visit Amsterdam and see the beauty and hospitality this historic city has to offer.”

But since most of the long-haul traveler’s time is spent airborne, KLM is beefing up and refurbishing its fleet to make flying convenient and pleasurable. Today’s travel isn’t just about getting from point A to B safely and on time. It’s now all about traveling in style—which airlines like KLM take into consideration.

It has teamed up with top Dutch designer Hella Jongerius to create a new atmosphere—from furnishings to minute flourishes—in the World Business Class.

“The new design’s guiding principle is to ensure that passengers feel at home,” said Stelder. “That involves a transition from a business-like look to greater sense of being at home. This has been achieved by using a characteristically warm color palette, more sustainable materials and by enhancing personal comfort.”

The World Business Class’ new full-flat seat can be reclined so the passenger can lie down completely to sleep. The seat and the partition between TV screens ensure greater privacy. There are also more storage compartments beside the passengers and under TV screens.

Expanding its fleet, KLM got its 12th Airbus 330-200 last April. Its arrival, said Stelder, marks another step in the airline’s thrust to modernize its fleet.

“Even in challenging times, KLM continues to invest in cleaner, quieter aircraft in its drive to guarantee customers optimal service,” he said.

“With the arrival of this latest aircraft, KLM’s A330 fleet now counts 16 aircraft: 12 Airbus A330-200s and four Airbus A330-300s.”


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Air France KLM , Amsterdam , Europe , KLM , Royal Dutch Airlines , Travel

  • Marianne M

    Pay the extra money and fly with a different airline, KLM is the worst airline and they have terrible customer service. on the day i was ment to fly out a lot of people where missing their flight due to poor service and rude rude check in staff…. i experienced this first hand. i cant stress enough how rubbish they are. its amazing what they will say for publicity to get the extra customers but they dont value them…

    • Diepor

      The staff in manila is very good and I has allways been treated with respect. I miss a crown lounge in Manila because the lounge they use dont even have a smokers section. Maybe you need to try to give respect to get respect.

  • Diepor

    Love KLM, the most easy way to get from Manila to Europe. Even with the change of plane in Taiwan you would be in Europe in max. 16 hours. Good luck with your 24 hour trip via somewhere, its not for me.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. How to enjoy Buntod
  2. Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  3. Life lessons I want to teach my son
  4. No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  5. ‘Wild West’ Masbate’s pristine marine gems
  6. The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  7. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  8. Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  9. What has happened to Barrio Fiesta and Singing Cooks & Waiters?
  10. Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  4. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  5. Miss America: Don’t suspend teen over prom invite
  6. How Margie Moran-Floirendo keeps her dancer’s body
  7. This is not just a farm
  8. President Quezon was born here–and so was Philippine surfing
  9. Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  10. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  1. How Zsa Zsa Padilla found Conrad Onglao; Sharon Cuneta played Cupid
  2. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  3. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  4. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  10. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer

News

  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
    Marketplace