KLM serves 16 UK airports; ~2.2 million passengers connect via Amsterdam

KLM serves 16 destinations in the UK

Source: OAG Mapper.

KLM and KLM Cityhopper now serve 16 UK destinations.  In all, 67 daily services are operated each way during the week, for an average of about four-daily.  This relatively high average is aided by six in ten flights being by the Embraer, especially the E190 (26/67).  The proportionality of regional jets to/from the UK has slowly increased over the years.  This is partly from the reintroduction of London City in 2017 – it is now up to nine-daily with KLM Cityhopper – and almost a third of flights at London Heathrow are by Embraers. 

KLM: strong P2P and connectivity

KLM’s UK – Amsterdam passengers are split almost equally.  In the year to September 2019, an estimated 51%, or 2.2 million, connected over Amsterdam, while 49%, 2.1 million, were P2P.  Of course, the proportions vary enormously by UK airport. Humberside, in Lincolnshire, has KLM’s lowest proportion of P2P passengers, at about 30%: an estimated 42,000 against 96,000 connecting.  KLM’s top-three connecting destinations from Humberside are Billund, Copenhagen and Aalborg.

KLM’s connections

About 353,000 connected from the UK to Asia. By far the most, around 1.3 million, connected across Western Europe, with Germany, Norway and Denmark KLM’s top connecting countries from the UK.  Birmingham’s lack of Scandinavia services is highlighted by through passengers and extends to capital cities and more. Edinburgh – Billund is 712 miles via Amsterdam and 487 non-stop. In full-year 2018, and across all airlines, it had 24,000 indirect passengers.  It was Edinburgh’s second-most unserved European route – until Ryanair started it twice-weekly.  Yet, KLM still has 10,000 passengers on it, from Ryanair’s seasonal service, low frequencies and business demand.

Top-10 countries to/from the UK
(two ways, year to Sept 2019)
Top-10 city-pairs 
(two ways, year to Sept 2019)
Country Est. passengers
(via Amsterdam)
City-pair Est. passengers
(via Amsterdam)
Germany 247,800 London – Lagos 25,900
Norway 172,000 Accra – London 18,200
Denmark 135,500 London – Tokyo 12,600
Italy 134,200 Birmingham – Oslo 11,300
France 121,400 London – Oslo 10,400
Switzerland 94,100 Billund – Edinburgh 10,400
China 91,800 Birmingham – Billund 10,100
Sweden 91,500 London -Osaka 9,500
US 91,300 Billund – London 8,800
Spain 83,400 Bristol – Milan 7,900
Source: OAG Traffic Analyser

How the UK fits into KLM’s waves at Schiphol

KLM has five clear waves at Schiphol each day. The following highlights KLM’s UK-Amsterdam and Amsterdam-UK services and how they fit into its global network.  London City stands out. Not surprisingly, it has one of the highest proportions of P2P passengers at nearly 80%, but connections are important in volume: an estimated 107,000.  But because of no early-morning slots at City, its first arrival into Amsterdam is 1000 – against 0800-0900 for most UK routes. As such, it cannot feed one of KLM’s largest departure banks.

KLM waves in Amsterdam 16 UK airports served

Source: OAG bank structure.



  1. Antoin Daltún says:

    I find it hard to believe that Billund ranks so high and that there are nore connections UK-China than UK-US. I suspect the latter can be explained if only KLM-KLM connections are counted and not, for instance, connections with joint venture partners such as KLM-Delta.

    • James Pearson says:

      Hi Antoin. Yes, only KLM-KLM connections were accounted for in this analysis. It would be interesting to look at broad SkyTeam connections in a follow-up piece.

  2. David Starkie says:

    Re KLM and UK airports, has KLM thought of providing a connecting hub for flights between UK airports not served directly? For example, I live near Southampton and have reasons to go to Norwich. I dislike trains (especially having to cross London) and would prefer to fly, but current connecting times for SOU-NWI are poor (often via Manchester or Edinburgh) and fares expensive. So why not SOU-AMS and then AMS-NWI (currently v. poor connection and very expensive). There are other UK airports served from AMS that are not served directly from SOU. Or what about EXT-ABZ via AMS. Could KLM offer through ticketing? Some analysis from OAG please.

    • James Pearson says:

      Hi David. KLM CityHopper served SOU until March 2019. I can’t imagine it returning anytime soon, especially given slot limitations at AMS.

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