Dutch airline KLM to launch package holiday brand

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Dutch airline KLM is set to launch its own holiday package deal brand in the Netherlands, as it aims to benefit from a revival of tourism once countries overcome the worst of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dutch arm of airline group Air France-KLM on Monday said it had bought a significant share in Airtrade, a specialist in tourist package deals and airline ticket consolidation.

Through this acquisition, for which no financial details were disclosed, it aims to launch ‘KLM Holidays’, to give its existing business offering tourist package deals a boost.

“We want to be among the top three tour operators for flight holidays”, KLM Netherlands director Harm Kreulen told the Telegraaf newspaper.

KLM last week reported an operating loss of 152 million euros ($183.8 million) over the last three months of 2020 as the COVID-19 crisis continued to cripple air travel.

Lockdowns led to an overall net loss of 7.1 billion euros for the French-Dutch airline group last year, and are likely to drive it into loss for 2021 as well.

KLM has said it expects tourism to pick up faster than business travel once travel restrictions are lifted.

Main Photo: A KLM staff checks her watch at a check-in desk at Schiphol Airport, the Netherlands. EPA-EFE/EVERT ELZINGA