More options for your Virgin Points: KLM launches six new long-haul leisure destinations

May 28, 2021

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While most airlines are currently just trying to resume normal operations, KLM Airlines is bucking the trend and adding new routes to its schedule.

The flagship carrier of the Netherlands just revealed six new long-haul destinations that will begin this winter to popular vacation spots such as Thailand, Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida. It will also debut a route to Kenya. The new destinations signal a strategy to look to expand to places where demand is expected to spike as people resume long-haul leisure travel as the coronavirus vaccine rollout continues.

Related: Should I fly KLM or Air France in economy?

KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said the new routes will help KLM position itself well for the expected rebound in travel the aviation industry expects in the latter half of 2021. “…this represents the next, significant step towards rebuilding [KLM’s] network. As many as 99 destinations in Europe will be served during summer and, with this latest expansion, KLM’s intercontinental network will also be significantly strengthened for winter,” he said.

The new destinations KLM will be providing service to from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (AMS) all launch in November. They are:

  • Orlando (MCO), four times a week using a B787-9 Dreamliner
  • Cancun (CUN), three times a week using a B787-9 Dreamliner
  • Mombasa (MBA), twice a week using a B787-9 Dreamliner
  • Phuket (HKT),  four times a week using a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft
  • Barbados (BGI), three times a week using a A330-200/300 aircraft
  • Port of Spain (POS), three times a week using a A330-200/300 aircraft

Service to the two Caribbean destinations, Port of Spain and Barbados, as well as Phuket, launch 1 November. Cancun service begins 2 November, while the flights to Mombasa and Orlando are set to take off 4 November.

The only route that will operate non-stop in both directions will be Cancun. With the exception of Phuket, which will have a stop in Kuala Lumpur in both directions, the other routes will go nonstop from Amsterdam and have a single stop on the return voyage via an existing KLM destination.

Related: Great seat, so-so service: A review of KLM’s business class on the 787-9 from Amsterdam to Toronto

This provides another option to redeem points for Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members since they can use their Virgin points on KLM-operated routes. While there is some overlap in terms of the destinations between Virgin and KLM, a bit more flexibility and availability is always welcome. KLM has a fantastic regional route network in the U.K. meaning if you are based outside of London, there are new options for an easy one

Featured Image by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy

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