KLM is responding to the demand for air travel as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted in the Netherlands and other EU countries by flying to 96 European and 71 intercontinental destinations starting today.
The success of the new destinations of Belgrade, Dubrovnik and Palma de Mallorca, which were added to the KLM route network last year, means they will once again be included in the summer schedule. KLM also expects business travellers to return, which is why frequencies are added to British, German and Polish routes.
Services to Kyiv, St Petersburg and Moscow continue to be suspended. KLM is keeping a close eye on developments in the region.
Intercontinental: frequently to the Caribbean and more often to the USA
KLM has also increased capacity on its intercontinental route network by 17% compared to last year, in response to a rising trend in bookings. This summer, we will operate daily flights to Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, increasing the frequency to Curaçao to twice daily during the summer holiday season. Port of Spain, KLM's new tropical destination in the winter schedule, is included in the summer schedule too, offering customers thrice weekly flights between Amsterdam and the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.
Since the USA eased travel restrictions in November 2021, demand for flights has grown steadily. KLM capacity to the USA this summer matches that of 2019. The resumption of flights to Salt Lake City and the new addition of Austin to our route network, means we will be operating direct services this summer to 12 destinations in the USA, the highest number ever. Austin, the state capital of Texas, is a flourishing technology hub and home to a large number of technology companies. It is also a thriving student city with a vibrant nightlife, Formula 1 and the major South by Southwest annual festival (SXSW). KLM operates three flights a week to Austin.
We are also seeing more and more countries in Asia opening up to visitors again. Although Covid-19 travel restrictions vary from country to country, summer demand is increasing for such destinations as the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Bali. India too has indicated that it will be easing travel restrictions. KLM will respond by increasing frequencies to Delhi and Mumbai. Asia continues to be a strong and important market for cargo, allowing us to continue to operate lower frequency services to all pre-pandemic destinations.
Travel restrictions continue to apply in China, which means we cannot yet resume our usual network services to China. Due to EU sanctions against Russia, KLM is not operating in Russian airspace. Flight times to and from South Korea, Japan and China are consequently on average two hours longer than usual. Flights to Japan and China are currently making a stopover in Seoul.
Capacity on most routes to South America has been restored to more or less pre-pandemic levels. We are currently operating daily services to Sao Paulo, Panama City and Lima, with a minimum of six flights a week to Quito/Guayaquil, Bogota/Cartagena, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires/Santiago de Chile.
Passengers wanting to fly to Africa this summer can now choose between ten destinations. Capacity has been expanded on many routes, compared to last summer, to meet the growing demand. Zanzibar, which was added to our route network last year, is once again included in the summer schedule. KLM is also operating services to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Accra, Lagos, Kigali, Entebbe, Nairobi, Kilimanjaro, and Dar es Salaam.