KLM launches low-cost European airline

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LONDON--KLM uk Ltd., a subsidiary of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, is entering Europe's growing low-cost airline market with a buzz. It will begin operating in January 2000 with eight 110-seat BAe 146 aircraft that will fly to seven European destinations from London's Stansted airport.

The direct-sell brand will target business and leisure travelers flying to Berlin, Duesseldorf, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris, Vienna and Lyons.

Following the sales strategy of existing low-cost airlines, such aseasyjet, British Airways' go and Virgin Atlantic, customers will be able to book flights by telephone or the Internet. Travel will be ticketless.

The low-cost flight sector is set to grow from 5.4 million passengers in 1998 to 15 million in 2003, according to Mintel research.

A $6.4 million pan-European creative campaign will run through WCRS, London. Media is handled by Mediapolis and direct marketing by KLM uk's existing above- and below-the-line agency Smith Bundy Carlson.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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