Dutch holiday and cargo airline Martinair is to halve its long-haul capacity next year and increase fares in an attempt to restore its profitability.

From 1 April the airline, which is jointly owned by KLM and Nedlloyd, will restructure its network, dropping a number of long-haul flights and switching capacity onto short/medium-haul services and cargo flights. Fares will be increased by an estimated 8%.

Five long-haul destinations will be dropped in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. Services to Cancun, Mexico, and Aruba, Dutch Antilles, will be cut to twice weekly, while Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and Havana and Varedero in Cuba, will be served once a week. Flights to Orlando, Florida, and San Jose, Costa Rica, will be cut to three services a week.

Meanwhile Martinair's cargo arm is to link with Kenya Airways and KLM Cargo to develop a joint freight organisation in Africa which will start operations in January. The eventual aim is to form a separate cargo airline.

The organisation will operate from a hub, at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and will be majority owned (60%) by Kenya Airways. KLM and Martinair each holding a 20% stake.

Source: Flight International