What made you accept this challenge in a new country?
"North Europe is a strategic market for Air France and KLM. For many decades we have grown our business together with our very loyal customers that not only fly to Paris or Amsterdam, but also use our hubs to fly to the world. In our normal schedule, we operate around 90 daily flights and serve around 6 million customers a year in the 8 countries that we cover. It is exciting to work with a fantastic team on our ambition to be the number 1 choice for business travellers in North Europe. Earlier this year we have seen that recognised when we won the 2020 Nordic Business Travel Awards for Best Airline. Even though the ceremony was cancelled due to the Covid-19 measures, we were all extremely delighted to receive this recognition voted by both our customers as well as peers in the business."
"At this moment we are indeed in a very different situation. The current crisis has dramatically changed so much for so many people and companies around the world. The good news is that over the past weeks gradually we see demand for travel growing again, in line with the different countries gradually opening up. Our focus is obviously now on restarting our operations safe and secure and increasing travel options for our customers. Today we are only flying around 15% of our normal capacity, and both the Air France and KLM route-network will gradually get back in place in months to come, although it will take several years before we are back to 100%."
A very practical question: how is the flight connection between the Netherlands and Sweden today (Stockholm, Göteborg, Linköping etc)? What are the measures taken by KLM in these extreme circumstances?
"KLM has been flying daily from Gothenburg and Stockholm to Amsterdam during the past months. We have recently restarted our Helsinki flight and are also restarting routes in Denmark and Norway. The latest updates are naturally available on KLM.com and AirFrance.com.
We have been -and still are- very busy with many repatriation flights, bringing back Europeans from all over the world. On our flights today we have strict additional hygiene measures, for instance wearing a mask when traveling is compulsory, and on Air France we are also doing temperature checks. Every day, our aircrafts are thoroughly cleaned with approved disinfectants and during the flight, the air in our aircraft is continually renewed with fresh air drawn in from outside."
How can the Dutch Chamber support you in achieving your professional life goals?
"Air France and KLM have always been very much grounded in the communities that we serve. For KLM we are proudly Dutch and besides serving our Swedish customers, we obviously serve the Dutch community here as well. Bringing these communities together is our core business, which is exactly what the Chamber does as well.
For more than a decade we have been at the forefront leading our industry with our sustainability efforts. We aim to continue to drive – also in the current crisis- our sustainability efforts further forward. The Dutch Chamber provides various platforms, events and opportunities where KLM aims to both contribute and participate, and I’m looking forward to the moment I can meet other members in person."