27 February 2023, by Victoria Séveno

The new KLM chief, Marjan Rintel, has confirmed to RTL Z that the cheap prices for flights seen before the pandemic are a thing of the past: “We will have to pay the real price together.” 

Flights to and from the Netherlands won’t be cheaper any time soon

It was only a few weeks ago that economists over at a major Dutch bank predicted that Europe’s era of cheap flights was well and truly over. Now, the CEO of a key European airline has confirmed that to be the case – at least for those travelling via the Netherlands

In a recent interview with RTL Z, Rintel said that a variety of factors, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, high inflation rate, high fuel prices and a possible recession, mean KLM will be unable to offer cheap tickets for flights in the future. 

While many had perhaps hoped to return to the travel habits they had pre-pandemic, Rintel explained that the deals offered back in 2019 won’t be returning any time soon. She suggested that travellers “will never go back” to being able to get good tickets “for little”. “We will have to pay the real price together,” she added.

KLM’s image suffers after chaotic year for Dutch airports

In spite of the chaotic scenes seen at Schiphol Airport throughout 2022, KLM managed to turn a profit last year. The airline’s annual financial report revealed that, after recording a turnover of 10,7 billion euros last year, 2022 was almost as good a year as 2019. “Major challenges remain, but looking at the results for 2022, we have reason to be cautiously optimistic,” Rintel explained in the press release.

The issues at airports in the Netherlands did lead to some backlash for the airline, however, with Luchtvaartnieuws reporting that the scores on KLM customer satisfaction surveys dropped significantly between 2020 and 2022. While KLM aims for an overall score of 50 on a scale of -100 to 100, last year it achieved a rather dismal 35 from its passengers. In 2020, the airline received a score of 53.

Thumb: Jan van der Wolf via Shutterstock.com.

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