KLM (KL) has just filled a giant hole in their network by announcing Minneapolis St Paul (MSP) which is also a massive Delta and SkyTeam hub.
KLM last served MSP in 2001 so it marks a return to the market more than 10 years later, with initial flights from Amsterdam Schipol Airport (AMS) to begin on March 27, 2017. Flights are already bookable though award space for SkyTeam elites has not opened as yet.
The flight will operate 3x weekly and the schedule will look like this:
KL655 AMS 09315 – 1120 MSP Mon/Wed/Sat
KL656 MSP 1450 – 0550+1 AMS Mon/Wed/Sat
The schedule follows the typical US-Europe timings of a day time flight and morning arrival into the United States with a late afternoon red eye to Europe. The big plus here is that there’s an opportunity for massive connections on both ends given how early the flight lands at both ports. With Delta’s presence in MSP and KLM’s in AMS, many more cities will now just be one stop away for people who prefer flying KLM over Delta across the Atlantic (DL already serves MSP-AMS).
KLM will be using their A330-200 aircraft to start the new flights – with 30 angle flat beds in World Business Class, 35 seats in Economy Comfort (at 35 inch pitch) and 176 seats in Economy (at a rather difficult 31 inch pitch).
So it’s not great news in that the airline is sending their oldest product on the new route and that at 30 Business seats award redemption and availability might be hard to come by. But hey, at least KL is starting the flight to begin with, and we’d much rather be on a KLM flight over the Atlantic than Delta – their service, especially from the crew is vastly superior and consistent in comparison to Delta, and you get those Delft Houses which we love!
Good luck to KL on this new route. Even with Delta already on the route its a flight that should work given that’s it’s in between two huge SkyTeam hubs which KL as a member of the alliance should benefit from.