Six things we learnt about KLM during a Turin trip

Pieter Elbers in Turin this week
Pieter Elbers in Turin this week

Our editor Amanda Greenwood just spent two days with KLM in Turin to mark new flights to the city from Amsterdam. Here’s what we discovered in a chat with the airline’s deputy CEO and chief operating officer Pieter Elbers. 

1. Social media is king. KLM handles as much customer service through Twitter and Facebook as it does over the phone and answers 35,000 enquiries a week on social media with 130 dedicated staff. It now tells passengers on its flights that they will get a response within an hour, and bookings are also being taken through social media now. The airline is also using the sites to do more than just answer questions such as a lost and found initiative at Schiphol to give lost items back while passengers are still in the airport.

2. Cities are lining up to be those connected to Amsterdam with the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. KLM’s deliveries of the aircraft are due to start next year and so far they haven’t let on where they will be operating to.

3. It’s got some anniversaries coming up. KLM is 95 years old this year and is celebrating 100 years in the sky in 2019. Ideas for the milestone are already underway.

Marcel Wanders designed its business class product
Marcel Wanders designed its business class product

4. Design makes the difference with these guys. The airline’s partnership with uber-cool Dutch designer Marcel Wanders for its business class product is sleek and even incorporates the crown in its design without appearing over the top.

5. While operating as separate brands, KLM and Air France probably work closer than you’d think. They have the same back office in place and the teams work under the group, just happen to have contracts with different names.
Palazzo Madama, Turin
Palazzo Madama, Turin

6. Its new flights to Turin come after a 10-year absence and as a result of subsidiary Transavia seeing success with its own route to the Italian city. Turin is driving forward as more than just the city of Fiat; thanks to much-needed investment into landmarks, hotels and public spaces the city is showing off its stunning architecture and buzzing cafe culture.

 

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