KLM will not fly to Beijing and Shanghai until the end of March due to the new coronavirus. In doing so, society has banned Chinese cities for about two weeks longer than previously reported.
The company already intended to resume flights to the two destinations in mid-March.
Flights to Chengdu, Hangzhou and Xiamen were already suspended until March 29. No flights will be made to Beijing and Shanghai until at least March 28.
KLM says it is closely following the developments of the coronavirus outbreak in China and is in close contact with numerous national and international health and aviation authorities. The rebooking scheme remains in force for customers.
Parent company Air France-KLM expects the virus problems in the first quarter of this year to take a bite out of the operational profit from 150 million to 200 million euros. The company already assumed flight disruptions until April.
In addition to the passenger flow, freight transport is also affected by the problems. Due to the continuing economic slowdown worldwide, the performance of the freight division was also under pressure before the virus broke out.
According to the aviation combination, the estimated amount can be divided equally between Air France and KLM. China accounts for around 5.5 percent of Air France-KLM’s activities, excluding Transavia. According to KLM boss Pieter Elbers, a comparable percentage applies to KLM.
KLM usually flies 25 times a week to China. This happens more often during peak periods. Air France-KLM does not want to give an estimate of the costs if the virus problems throw up flight schedules for longer. The SARS virus in 2009 caused months of inconvenience.