By Staff writer
Dutch airline says in statement that the service has proven “unprofitable”
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is ceasing all Amsterdam to Doha flights with effect from next year, because the service has proven “unprofitable” since Qatar Airways launched flights to Amsterdam Schipol last year, the airline said.
The carrier said it would cease all flights to Doha on March 26 2017, bringing an end to its 33-year presence in Qatar.
It also announced changes to flights to Bahrain and Kuwait. KLM flights to Bahrain – currently operated in combination with Doha – will be increased from five to six times a week from next year; Bahrain is served after a short stopover in Kuwait and back.
A statement on KLM’s website said: “On commencement of its 2017 summer schedule, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will be adjusting its schedule for flights between Schiphol and four Gulf states.
“KLM will also suspend direct service to Doha (Qatar) from 26 March 2017. This service has proven unprofitable since Qatar Airlines launched direct service to Schiphol in June 2015.
“Discontinuing service to Doha brings an end to KLM’s 33-year presence in Qatar. KLM’s flights to Dubai remain unchanged.”
Pieter Elbers, KLM president and CEO, added: “Adjusting the schedule enables us to offer our passengers improved direct connections to the Gulf States.
“In some cases, this will reduce flight times. The capacity removed from these routes will be deployed for new destinations announced for the start of the 2017 summer season.”
Passengers with reservations for flights after March 26 will be rebooked on the most appropriate alternative flight, the airline said.
Qatar Airways launched its direct Doha to Amsterdam flight in June 2015. The state-owned airline’s prices have now become almost comparable with KLM on this route, Doha News reported.