KLM chief executive Pieter Elbers says the UK air travel recovery has lagged that in mainland Europe amid “not very helpful” government policies.

Speaking during the Airlines 2021 event in London on 22 November, Elbers joked that his assistant “almost asked for a pay rise” having completed his lengthy passenger locator form for the event.

Airlines 2021

Source: Lewis Harper/FlightGlobal

Elbers cites the UK’s importance to KLM

That is a frustration in a market that is “incredibly important to KLM”, with the SkyTeam carrier serving 17 points in the UK from Amsterdam.

He calls for the UK’s restrictions to be relaxed – “the sooner the better” – while calling for “stability and predictability” in government policy.

Among the UK’s current travel requirements, fully vaccinated travellers are still required to complete a day-two test on arrival, unlike arrivals in most of mainland Europe.

Across KLM’s markets, the Covid-19 pandemic has been “crazy rollercoaster”, Elbers says.