Air France, KLM to Ramp Up China Frequencies

Both SkyTeam member airlines will offer daily nonstop services to Beijing and Shanghai by August.

Sunset at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. (Photo: KLM)

Following the recent removal of travel restrictions and limits on international flights into mainland China, Air France and KLM have announced significant changes to their operations there. The Dutch flag carrier is eyeing the start of the northern summer schedule on March 26, when services to Beijing are set to resume aboard a Boeing 777-200, flown six days a week. Nonstop flights to Shanghai will operate at the same levels with the same aircraft model — double the frequency of KLM’s existing service to Shanghai Pudong, which involves a stopover at Seoul-Incheon. KLM says it is planning to increase the number of flights on both routes to daily in May.

Similarly, the airline will restart nonstop flights between Amsterdam and Hong Kong on March 28, with eastbound departures aboard a Boeing 787-9 scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Return journeys will be made on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. This will cut three hours from the current travel time of 14 hours 45 minutes, as KLM flies thrice weekly to Hong Kong via Bangkok on a Boeing 777-300.

Air France is also stepping up its flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport to Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. Right now, the carrier serves Beijing-Capital Airport once a week and Shanghai Pudong three times a week; services to Hong Kong, which resumed on January 9, are being operated on a thrice-weekly basis.

From July 1, Air France will fly daily to each of the three major destinations. Flights to Shanghai will be on a Boeing 777-300 ER equipped with the airline’s latest long-haul cabins, featuring 48 seats in business class, 48 in premium economy, and 273 in economy for a total of 369. Meanwhile, services to Beijing and Hong Kong will utilize Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners with 279 seats, including 30 in business class.

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