Carriers join other major airlines reducing flights due to low demand
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Northwest Airlines announced that they would operate a reduced international schedule on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day due to a shift in customer demand.
KLM and Northwest are partners in a trans-Atlantic code-share alliance and have an extensive commercial cooperation agreement. Both carriers report strong bookings for the late December-early January holiday period, but see bookings significantly lower than normal for New Year's Eve and Day. The December 31-January 1 period is traditionally slow and both airlines have reduced capacity in response to low demand in previous years.
In response to this altered booking pattern, KLM will make more substantial adjustments to its schedules for the New Year's period than in previous years; the carrier currently plans to operate no more than five intercontinental flights. By comparison, KLM operated some 35 inter-continental flights at year-end 1998.
Almost all KLM intra-European afternoon and evening flights on December 31 will be canceled as will most January 1 morning flights. The schedule changes have been coordinated with KLM's inter-continental and European partners. KLM expects to restart schedules on January 1 and to operate a full schedule beginning January 2.
On December 31, Northwest will cancel five flights, four from the U.S to Amsterdam and one between Amsterdam and Delhi, India. The return legs of those flights scheduled for January 1 also will be canceled. Over the New Year's evening period, Northwest will operate as scheduled round-trip flights to Amsterdam from Detroit, Boston and Minneapolis/St. Paul as well as scheduled trans-Atlantic service to London, Paris and Frankfurt.
American Airlines, Air Canada, Canadian and British Airways have all announced reductions in the number of flights over the New Year's Eve holiday. All of the airlines, without exception say the reductions were a result of low demand and not to avoid any possible problems related to the computer Y2K bug.
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