Amsterdam, the Netherlands - With the current loss of around 90% of all flights between Europe and Asia, there is a major shortage of freight capacity. At the same time, and precisely because of the crisis surrounding COVID-19, there is a huge requirement to transport medical equipment and other supplies quickly between the US, Europe and China. KLM has now joined forces with Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG; AEX: PHIA) and the Dutch government to create a temporary special cargo airlift between the Netherlands and China. In addition to these parties, requests for extra capacity are coming from many other organizations. This airlift to Asia will start on April 13, 2020.
During the coming six to eight weeks, specifically for this important airlift between the Netherlands and China, KLM will bring its Boeing 747 Combi aircraft back into operation, ensuring a continuous flow of special freight capacity – two times a week to Beijing and three times a week to Shanghai. This will create approximately 250 tons of extra freight capacity in each direction per week. The flights will operate alongside the existing services of the so-called skeleton timetable that has been in force since March 29, 2020 with two Beijing and two Shanghai flights operated using Boeing 787s and Boeing 777s.
The Full Freighters of KLM/Martinair will continue to be deployed on North Atlantic routes, which Philips will use to airlift from Amsterdam to distribution points in the US. KLM/Martinair will also continue to fly on South Atlantic routes as well as to Africa.