KLM tweaks Gulf flights, adds Riyadh to network

Dutch airline KLM is rebuilding its Middle East network as it emerges from months of lockdown
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Dutch carrier KLM will add Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to its Middle East network and adjust its flight schedule to Gulf States from the end of September.

As of 28 September, KLM will offer a total of seven destinations in the Gulf States from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Dubai and Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Dammam and Riyadh (Saudi Arabia), Muscat (Oman), Manama (Bahrain) and Kuwait City (Kuwait).

Riyadh is an entirely new destination for KLM’s hub, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and is part of the airline’s plan to rebuild its European and intercontinental network following the initial coronavirus crisis.

Adding Riyadh as a new destination will strengthen KLM's network in the Middle East and help keep it “robust”, the airline said in a statement.

The opening of Riyadh means an increase in the number of destinations, but not in the number of flights to the Middle East, because Riyadh will be combined with an existing destination.

The total number of flights KLM operates from Schiphol is far from the pre-corona crisis level.

“Our passengers’ safety, comfort, well-being and health remain our highest priority,” said Yeshwant Pawar, general manager, Air France-KLM for the Gulf, Iran and Pakistan.

“All of our flights are operated with additional sanitary measures to ensure our passengers safety. We are humbled to be among the first European airlines resuming flights to the Middle East, offering travel solutions to Paris, Amsterdam and beyond.”

KLM will fly directly from Amsterdam to Riyadh four times a week. On the way back, this flight will make a short stopover in Dammam in Saudi Arabia, a destination that was already included in the KLM network before the coronavirus crisis. The flights will be operated with the Airbus A330-200.

From 3 August 2020, the flights to Muscat will be operated with a short stopover in Abu Dhabi. There will be three flights per week. The Amsterdam-Abu Dhabi-Muscat-Abu Dhabi-Amsterdam route will be operated using the Boeing 787-9.

As part of the slow expansion of the KLM network, flights via Kuwait to Bahrain will also be restarted on 28 September 2020. The three weekly flights will be operated with the Airbus A330-200.

The flights from Amsterdam to Dubai will remain unchanged. KLM operates daily flights on this route with a Boeing 777-200.

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