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KLM's new Austin route gets a start date after 2-year COVID delay

February 2 2022
3 min read
KLM's new Austin route gets a start date after 2-year COVID delay
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KLM's new route between the capital of the Netherlands and the capital of Texas is finally a go after a two-year delay — and it comes with a much-improved product over what was originally announced.

The SkyTeam carrier's service between Amsterdam (AMS) and Austin (AUS) begins on March 28 and will operate on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The route is KLM's 19th in North America and its second in Texas, after Houston-Bush Intercontinental (IAH).

Interestingly, the flight begins about a week after the conclusion of one of Austin's biggest annual events, the South by Southwest festival, which will be held in-person this year for the first time since 2019.

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The flight was originally announced in September 2019, with a May 4, 2020 start date but was pulled from KLM's schedule at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As they say, patience is a virtue, and this iteration of the flight includes a much-improved premium cabin product over what was originally announced. The AUS flight was originally going to be operated by the carrier's Airbus A330-300 product, featuring a somewhat dated 2-2-2 configuration in World Business Class. KLM will now operate the flight with one of its newer Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which features a much more modern 1-2-1 product up front. Former TPG editor Alberto Riva gave the seat on KLM's 787-9 high marks.

KLM 787-9 World Business Class. (Photo by Alberto Riva/The Points Guy)

In total, KLM's 787-9 features 30 World Business Class seats, 38 extra-legroom Economy Comfort seats and 216 standard economy seats.

More: A review of KLM’s business class on the 787-9 from Amsterdam to Toronto

The thrice-weekly flight departs AMS at 12:40 p.m. as KL667 and arrives in AUS at 4:10 p.m., all times local. The return flight departs AUS at 6 p.m. as KL668 and arrives in AMS the next day at 10:25 a.m.

Austin is a focus city for SkyTeam partner Delta Air Lines, and the city's Austin Bergstrom International Airport features a Delta SkyClub that business class passengers and SkyTeam elites will be able to access.

"We are excited to expand our service and inaugurate the first scheduled service between Austin and Amsterdam," Eric Caron, SVP and General Manager of North America for Air France-KLM, said in a statement. "We look forward to connecting Austin to our global network via Schiphol and providing Europeans direct access to the dynamic city of Austin with its vibrant culture and robust tech industry."

Featured photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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