KLM LCY-AMS, takes over Cityjet flights

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  • MarcusGB

    Not surprising that KLM introduced a flight a day, then two in February on this very busy route, but have now expanded using several “Wet Lease” Cityjet aircraft also. They carry a high degree of Those leisure passengers connecting to KLM flights in AMS, and a.m. and eve flights more Business passengers. Fares start at £89 return, up to 9 flights a day, and on the Cityhopper services, you can choose the economy comfort seat, offering a Business seat not used. I found these excellent, and generally they only have row 1 for Business, but the same service, so these seats are excellent. there is a tight turn around, of 30 minutes for a KLM Cityhopper flight, and this simply means their flights are not running on time, and a flight time of 10 miutes less also on the timetable. Difficult to keep at LCY.

    KLM’s Brand new Embraer 190 aircraft are very comfortable, plenty leg room, brand new feel, and we all know whichever Airline these are very comfortable quiet jets. You DO get the normal high quality sandwich and tea coffee, or some alcohol on Board KLM Cityhopper services, unlike the BA and Flybe services, which make it a very pleasant flight.

    The old Cityjet flights, are in no way a comparison to the standards of the new Embraer services, that now run 4-5 times a day, as KLM CityHopper. The old dirty and noisy Avro jets run by Cityjet are a shock if you find one way out, and back on the other!
    I certainly hope KLM will add their own flights entirely, as you are getting a great disparity between the two aircraft.

    The Airport check in staff, usually rude and unhelpful at LCY, at check in display a “Sky Priority” lane, which they never take people from and seem to completely ignore you. They state they have no Priority baggage tags either, so if you are a Skyteam member, ask KLM for some of your own to use there!
    Whether AMS or a longer haul destination or Business traveler, your baggage will not comply with what KLM states it offers and baggage just piled in with the rest. Not helpful if you are travelling long haul. Neither do they make any effort for Sky Priority Boarding at the gate, as everyone just pushes past, and staff simply do nothing.
    However, returning from AMS, you get all the Sky Priority services as usual, baggage, fast lanes to Immigration, Security, Lounge, EC Seats as a Platinum member, discounted as Gold.
    Again you arrive to no services at LCY whichever Airline.

    KLM need to address these issues Urgently, as these Ground staff now represent KLM, and perhaps they should appoint a KLM Manager for LCY now to ensure these services are offered. the attitude of staff at LCY is very poor, and the Dutch especially, have a high expectation for KLM, and have been saying the Cityjet flights are not a standard they expect, nor the services on the ground acceptable.

    Please KLM, these need to be dealt with?!!


    KLM is wet-leasing two Cityjet aircraft to be used on several other routes in addition to its LCY services.

    KLM provides another boost to London City-Amsterdam route


    Alex, does VLM still exist as a Company within KLM?

    I can understand the sub Companies, as in KLM Asia, CityHopper etc, but they do actually have aircraft?!!!
    Doubt if this is to be a long term Wet Lease of Cityjet flights, after being sold off from the AF / KLM group, then their routes poached back to KLM. Surely when KLM have their fleet renewal for Cityhopper complete, they will have their own Embraer’s back on LCY, as there really is a great difference in service and standard of flight between them and CJ.

    Far more Business travelers seem to be on Board the KLM flights now, having left the CG to Leisure travellers on flights I have taken.


    @MarcusGB I think you are expecting too much. There is no Fastrack facility at AMS. The signage fools you into thinking that there is, but you just merge with the ordinary lines.
    Also, a priority tag means nothing. Your bag is loaded with all the others.
    Sorry but Premium passengers mean nothing these days.


    Marcus – Antwerp-based airline VLM was separate from KLM. And it ceased trading almost one year ago.


    One imagines that KLM’s short-haul fleet is fully utilised at present hence the reason it is wet-leasing aircraft from Cityjet for the LCY route.


    Small world, I was approached over the weekend to join a Belgium based consortium looking to revive VLM. The Antwerp – London City service is always busy and it’s surprising they can’t make it pay. I still declined.


    You were obviously flying on the wrong airline, openfly!

    Sky Priority is excellent at check-in, security and baggage handling. In fact, my bag arrived on an earlier flight on Monday after travelling all night from Dakar via CDG and AMS to LUX.

    The man at the baggage desk at LUX was just as mystified as I was ?


    Sky Priority is in full working order in Schiphol, having traveled weekly for 3 years, and at least 3 weekly in recent years. Sometimes from LHR, LCY, EDI, and through and from Long haul not just arriving in Amsterdam, but transiting in and out.

    Ex Amsterdam to UK flights (including CityHopper new Embraer fleet), you start with a separate check in for KLM, entrance guarded by at least two very strict KLM ladies! Check in Desks, baggage drop off, and assistance desks are always manned, and i have never had more than 1 person in front of me, if not gone direct to the queue. Baggage is tagged “Priority”, then you turn to the right and go upstairs for the “D Fast Track route”. You scan your boarding pass and enter through the automatic gate.. (Schiphol also generate where you are in the airport process now…), then to your right there is one entry to two dedicated Security lanes, which are usually well staffed and quick.

    The other passengers you see opposite and the queue can snake several rows back, where as the Sky Priority, (when there has not just been a terrorist event in Europe), you start the process in one of two lanes, directed by a Supervisor.
    You do then join the Immigration queues, either EU or Non ER, or the Auto EU gates if they are on, depending on the EU and Dutch Security level set.
    Through the Airport there are also Sky Priority Lanes and security separate into C Terminal if connecting, which is usually instant.
    Boarding for Sky Team Airlines, is managed by KLM staff, and lanes clearly set, and passengers are always called first, and board first. UK, European and Long Haul KLM flights follow the same procedure.
    Every staffed Assistance area, has a Sky Priority desk, you get a different desk, or take a ticket. Arrivals for Baggage problems has a Sky Priority Lounge.

    All this is monitored by several “KLM Matrons”, certainly Senior Managers, who cover the Airport and monitor delays and go to the gates, these being those with 4 Gold Stripes. They ensure the polices and procedures are followed.

    Worldwide, I cannot say all goes well, at LHR arriving baggage is always mixed up, and late.
    LCY, KLM load the bags last, i have watched them, clearly marked, but LCY staff ignore these.
    Most Long haul flights it arrives first, in Jakarta, you wait in a lounge for your bags to be collected for you and handed over in the new T3, which will include Skyteam Airlines within a few weeks, with Garuda.

    The Sky Priority System has been founded well Worldwide now, and mostly includes Immigration lanes also, and baggage Worldwide, Europe, but not to the UK, for me arrives very promptly when the bags start.

    Over 5 years i have seen a constant, and flown KLM for over 20 years.
    It just gets better and better, and Schiphol superb, and standing out from every other European Airport in every aspect, especially its operational Management. We may not see this, but it results in the calmness and efficiency of every aspect of this excellent Airport, and a great hub for one of the best European Airlines now, KLM.
    Every staffed Assistance area, has a Sky Priority desk, you get a different desk, or take a ticket. Arrivals for Baggage problems has a Sky Priority Lounge.

    So Alex, was VLM just kept afloat to run one route, but never seeing the banner just printed sometimes on the boarding pass?


    Marcus – It’s complex.

    Back in 2014 VLM agreed to lease a couple of Sukhoi Superjets and the plan was to operate these aircraft along with some of its existing F-50s.


    But VLM cancelled the deal in 2016 and it filed for bankruptcy soon after.


    Today comes news that VLM wants to establish an operation in Slovenia with flights from Maribor.


    Meanwhile VLM Airlines Newco in Belgium requested an AOC (air opertors certificate) last September and is still waiting.


    AF-KLM divested VLM in early 2014 to German owner Intro Aviation (also owned Intersky, also RIP).
    Then VLM mgt bought the airline in October 2014, filed for bankruptcy in May 2016…


    News today that KLM has ordered two additional Embraer 190s for its Cityhopper fleet. They will be delivered in 2018.

    What it means is that KLM will be less reliant on Cityjet for some of its short-haul routes like the AMS-LCY service.


    I never fly to/from AMS but I am happy to see that SkyPriority is as efficient and smooth in AMS as it is in CDG and ORY (which I use very often).
    It’s a shame Skyteam has been unable to provide fast track facility in LHR T4.

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