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NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Thu Oct 03, 2002 9:58 am

NW & KLM have combined operations to such an extent, that somebody high up in the chain of management at NW said (sometime last year) that it didn't matter to NW's bottom line, whether a passenger flew in a red tail or a blue and white one, across the Atlantic.

With this is mind, how come BOTH, KLM and NW, fly several flights between their hub cities? For Example, there are 4 daily non-stops between DTW & AMS, three operated by NW and one by KLM. If these two airline's operations are so well combined, why is there a need for KLM to augment NW's flights from Detroit and Minneapolis to Amsterdam? KLM could, instead, fly to (for example, only) Kansas City or Denver, and open up more direct routes to Amsterdam, thus expanding both their's as well as Northwest's Direct-Route International Network, could they not?


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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:09 am

I don't think I quite understand what you are saying. The cities that these airlines serve directly from Amsterdam are the ones they feel that can supposrt it, it doesn't really matter if its red or blue. Take a look at Miami, it has been served by Northwest for a while direct to AMS, but has just recently been changed to KLM. As far as I know it was just for equipment purposes, but I could very well be wrong on that.

I don't think there are really many new routes to open up direct from US to AMS, but if there was I doubt it would makea difference who flew it, either way they'd have to get the quipment from somewhere; which may mean closing a route or switching airlines, or might not at all.

Now that I look at it, I don't think I've actually made a point. But then again there wasn't really a point to make.
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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:17 am

KLM and Northwest share profits on all flights between the US and Amsterdam. It does not matter if it is a NW DC-10 or a KLM MD-11 flying MIA-AMS, KLM and Northwest split the profits.
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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:20 am

Its a hedge bet against labor disruptions. The key hub-to-hub markets will be a mixed operation so that even if one airline goes on strike, the other one will be able to operate as scheduled.
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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Thu Oct 03, 2002 10:26 am


Ok, let me clarify a little more:

KLM flies to Detroit and Minneapolis, non-stop, in addition to the NW flights, because of the joint agreements between the two airlines (this is an assumption, and could well be wrong!). NW has 3 direct flights and lots of one-stop flights (through Boston, New York, etc.) a day to Amsterdam. There are probably (again, assumption) enough seats to absorb the capacity on this route.

Hence, KLM could fly to cities that NW does not serve non-stop, and open up new routes without closing another, or adding equipment. And this would only be viable, because to the corporation, it makes no difference whose equipment (such a terrible word for a 747-400!!) is being used.

This thought occurred to me when on a recent NW trip, I had some spare time at the World Gateway at DTW, and came across so many people from the Midwest connecting through Detroit to Amsterdam, that it might just make sense to have KLM fly from a large midwest city to AMS... But then again, this kinda goes against the whole hub city philosophy... you were right, this idea actually seems a little ridiculous now!!  Smile  Smile  Smile

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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Thu Oct 03, 2002 11:21 am

KLM does fly to three large midwest cities direct to AMS; DTW, MSP, and ORD (could be NWA actually, I can't remember). If they thought they could fill a plane to MCO or IND or other midwest cities, I'm sure they'd send one there. That's why they have the hubs, to pool enough people together from different cities to fill a plane.

Maybe I am misunderstanding you, but it seems like you are saying the same thing as you are wearing white socks one day and for no reason other than to change them, you put on a different pair of white socks.

BTW, Northwest's flights to AMS from non-hub cities (Boston, NYC, etc) are non-stop not one-stop flights.

And if you really want to get technical, AMS is a NWA hub Smile

Sorry to seem attacking, that's not hoe I meant to come off sounding. Just trying to get what you are saying.
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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Thu Oct 03, 2002 4:38 pm

I think there is an agreement between NWA and KLM about opening up new routes. Both airlines operate as 1 airline and thus they can't just open up a new destination in tyhe USA. Another problem is that KLM can probably use its aircraft better for other destinations (like increasing flights ex AMS to Africa) in order to improve the AMS hub (which benefits NWA aswell).

Azo, ORD is KLM, however KLM doesn't fly to MSP anymore

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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Fri Oct 04, 2002 2:22 am

I think KLM can´t open up US destination ex AMS by itself. NWA does all the sales and ground handling in US also on destinations flown by KLM aircraft such as daily AMS-LAX, SFO and Houston.

The same way around I think KLM does all handling in Europe, e.g. also the new DTW-MAD flight by red tails.

Both airlines have extensive Asia operations. US fleet type use will likely be influenced by that too. Apart from that KLM 744 are mostly combi´s, so the cargo potential or lack of it of a destination can be a reason for KLM or NWA aircraft to fly those.

How are AMS-Canadian flights handled, by KLM or NWA staff ?
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Fri Oct 04, 2002 12:09 pm

NW and KL try to split the N. America to Europe flights equally (not just AMS). That is why you have KL to YYZ, YUL, YVR, MEX, ORD, MEM, MIA etc. and NW 3x daily from DTW and daily MSP, SEA, BOS, IAD, EWR, etc. In addition to DTW to LGW, FCO, FRA, CDG and in the Spring to MAD. That way all profits (and losses) on anything between N. America and Europe are shared by both companies.

This was a big bone of contention between KL and CO. CO does not want to share profits on its Trans-Atlantic routes nor does it want KLM to basically "force" them to route practically everything through AMS as they have done with NW.

NW gave up BOS to LGW, FRA, CDG, GLA and MSP to FRA and now routes all those flights to AMS and then to the final destination.
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RE: NW / KLM Scheduling Question

Fri Oct 04, 2002 12:33 pm

At work in MSY, we (NWA) get at least 50 bags per day with a final destination of AMS, plus maybe 40 others going to other European cities, India, and even Russia! Many of these bags fly MSY-DTW-AMS and connect with NW68 (The 747-400 nonstop to AMS), and also you have quite a few connecting to the KLM DTW-AMS flight. ALso, another popular connection is the 2:45pm flight to MEM, connecting with KLM's 767 nonstop to AMS. It's great to have so many options for passengers....AMS seems like a very popular destination from this area. I see bags arriving from AMS with "Carnival Cruise Lines" tags on them....fly from AMS to MSY, then take a week long Caribbean cruise. NWA/KLM is surely a great choice when flying to/from Europe/Middle East/Asia. Some other interesting bags I've seen recently....THR, BOM, MNL, KIX....even KIEV!!! I know that a twice-weekly nonstop from New Orleans to AMS could work. The proof is in the numbers.

Steve in New Orleans