KLM Suspends All Long-Haul And Some European Flights
Dutch carrier KLM will reportedly suspend 270 flights to the Netherlands after the country’s government imposed new requirements to try to stem the spread of the coronavirus. KLM will suspend all long-haul flights and some short-haul ones on Friday due to new Covid-19 requirements instituted by the Dutch government this Friday (January 22, 2021).
On Wednesday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced additional measures in the fight against the coronavirus, including a temporary ban on flights to the United Kingdom, South Africa and South American countries, pending a new quarantine law.
Travellers must also undergo a rapid test before travelling to the Netherlands, followed by a standard PCR test on arrival, which Rutte called “a double lock on the door.”
However, KLM sees many problems with this mandatory rapid test policy, stating that it is now impossible to operate intercontinental flights. All the more so as staff must also be tested in this way.
“We cannot run the risk of our staff being stranded somewhere. This is why we are stopping all intercontinental flights from Friday and all flights to European destinations where crew members have to spend the night,” the company said.
“That the crew must submit a negative COVID test result before reentering The Netherlands is a death sentence for the airline“, union president Reinier Castelein of De Unie said to Dutch press, adding that the cancellation of these long-haul flights will cost thousands of (airline) jobs.
This also applies to cargo flights and repatriation flights, according to the airline.