KLM will cut another 1,000 jobs, says mandatory COVID-19 tests will ground planes

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – KLM said it will cut another 1,000 jobs in 2021 and warned on Thursday that the government plans to require all passengers and crew to pass a COVID-19 test before the flight to the Netherlands. can ground its long-haul flights.

KLM, which already cut 5,000 jobs last year, joined with other airlines operating in the Netherlands to criticize a proposed requirement for all inbound passengers to show a negative result. from a “fast” COVID-19 test carried out within four hours of boarding a plane.

“The Netherlands would be the only country in the world to take such far-reaching measures,” the companies said in a statement.

KLM said the new rule, proposed by the Dutch government on Wednesday, would force it to suspend all 270 of its current long-haul flights from Friday, due to the risk of having to continually stop and quarantine crew members overseas.

The company’s decision means it should also stop operating freight-only flights from Asia, which was one of the few lines of business to grow during the coronavirus crisis, offsetting overall revenue losses of around two-thirds.

Thursday’s statement asking the government to reconsider was published by KLM and signed by easyJet, Corendon, Transavia, TUI and Barin and said it had “support” from the International Aviation and Transport Association (IATA).

The rule threatens the Netherlands “by being connected to the rest of the world, the Dutch business position and employment in the aviation sector,” the companies said.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by David Goodman and Elaine Hardcastle