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With the United States government continuing to show no interest in loosening restrictions on travelers originating in various European countries, we’re now seeing some counties in Europe retaliating and imposing considerably stricter measures on travelers visiting from the United States. Unsurprisingly, this is now starting to lead to route suspensions.
Following the European Union’s recommendation that its member states reimpose travel restrictions on travelers originating in the United States, the Netherlands has moved the US into its “very high risk” category and has made it considerably tougher for visitors from the US to enter the country.
As of Monday, 6 September 2021, unvaccinated travelers are not allowed to enter the Netherlands if arriving from the United States while vaccinated travelers now have to show proof of a negative Covid test taken no more than 72 hours before travel and are required to quarantine for at least 5 days.
Needless to say, none of this is good news for KLM.
With relatively few people allowed to travel from the Netherlands to the United States and with visitors from the US now being actively discouraged from visiting the Netherlands, the airline has decided that three of its transatlantic leisure routes will be surplus to requirements this winter [HT: Routes Online].
Between 31 October 2021 and 26 March 2022, KLM was scheduled to offer services to Las Vegas, Miami, and Orlando from its home base in Amsterdam but all three routes have now been suspended and are unlikely to be brought back this winter.
As things stand, KLM is still offering flights to all of its other US destinations with this week seeing the airline scheduled to operate ~70% of the capacity that it offered to the US in September 2019, but if bookings start to dry up there’s every chance that we’ll see yet more routes getting their capacity cut or suspended altogether.
If you’re booked to fly on any of the three suspended routes and have yet to hear from the airline or your travel agent, I suggest that you contact them asap while you still have a good range of options – the longer you wait the fewer options you are likely to have.