Yesterday KLM CEO Pieter Elbers signed a memorandum of cooperation with Chinese carrier Xiamen Airlines and the City of Amsterdam. Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan and Xiamen Airlines’ Chief Operating Officer Zhao Dong were also in attendance. KLM has been flying from Amsterdam to Xiamen three times a week since 2011. The memorandum of cooperation is designed to strengthen collaboration and accessibility between the Netherlands and China.
Xiamen Airlines has indicated that it will fly from Xiamen to Amsterdam this summer. Xiamen Airlines is a subsidiary of KLM’s partner, China Southern Airlines, China’s largest airline. Xiamen Airlines operates the largest all Boeing fleet in China and has been profitable for 28 consecutive years, which is a unique record.
Similar to KLM, both are members of SkyTeam. The Xiamen Airlines flights will operate in code share with KLM.
KLM and China
KLM offers 57 flights every week to Greater China together with its partner, China Southern Airlines. KLM is the single largest supplier of air travel to China from Europe with eight direct destinations: Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Xiamen, Hangzhou and Chengdu, and Taipei in Taiwan. The eighth Chinese destination is Guangzhou, which China Southern airlines will operate. Xiamen, Chengdu and Hangzhou are two unique KLM destinations in China. No other European airlines offers nonstop flights to Xiamen and Hangzhou.
KLM cooperates with five Chinese airlines: China Southern, China Eastern, Xiamen Airlines, Sichuan Airlines from mainland China, and China Airlines in Taiwan. China Southern airlines is China’s largest airline. In 2007, SkyTeam welcomed China Southern Airlines as its first Chinese carrier. KLM and China Southern Airlines have been working closely since November 2001.On 21 November 2012, Xiamen Airlines joined SkyTeam. The partners ensure that secondary airports which KLM does not serve are easily accessible by offering short connection times. Every year, KLM transports a million passengers to and from China.