The original post was published on November 10, 2014. Additional update was posted on March 20, 2015.
KLM (IATA Airline Code – KL) announced that it will start flying thrice weekly from its home hub Amsterdam (IATA Airport Code – AMS) to Edmonton, Canada (YEG) starting May 1, 2015. This will extend to four times weekly starting June 22, 2015.
The following are our customary flight facts and path for this new route.
KLM currently flies to the following Canadian destinations: Calgary (YYC), Toronto (YYZ), Montreal (YUL), and Vancouver (YVR).
The city of Edmonton is located in the province of Alberta, Canada. It is about 188 miles (300km) from Calgary and has a population of about 880,000 people per the latest census.
Prior to this announcement, the easiest way for passengers from Edmonton to fly to Amsterdam would be to fly to Calgary, Toronto or Montreal on codeshare partner Westjet (WS). This new flight will shave at least 2 hours of travel time between the two cities.
There are many reasons why KLM elected to fly to Edmonton instead a more populated Canadian city like Ottawa (YOW):
- There is high demand for the Calgary flights which went daily in late 2012. The current Airbus A330-200 may not be able to accommodate the additional passengers from Edmonton.
- Air Canada (AC) is upgrading itsToronto to Amsterdam flight from seasonal to 6 times weekly starting June 4, 2015 with a Boeing 767-300 with seating up to 211 passengers. This will increase competition for KLM. By starting a route on May 1, KLM may have a slight competitive advantage for Edmonton passengers who would have to connect in Toronto to fly Air Canada.
- Although Ottawa is more populated than Edmonton, it is very close in distance to Toronto and Montreal which KLM already serves. There is also less feeder traffic from Westjet from Ottawa than Edmonton.
It looks like KLM’s relationship with Westjet is providing fruitful results and has opened up new destinations for direct flights. It would be very interesting to see how this flight perform in the near future.
Update (March 20, 2015)
KLM has decided to delay on implementing Amsterdam to Edmonton for two weeks until May 19, 2015.
On an unrelated note, it is also delaying delivery of the Boeing 787-9 until labor agreement negotiations are completed. Other expansion routes to Bangkok, Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Toronto, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Chengdu are delayed indefinitely (refer to news article).