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Old Apr 4, 07, 4:23 am   #1
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MD11 problems continue, multiple delays again

KLM's MD11 woes do not seem to come to an end. The 10-strong MD11 subfleet is already featuring the worst dispatch reliability rate in the entire KLM widebody fleet, but things continue to deteriorate.

Just yesterday, KLM was forced to delay overnight KL871/872 DEL after first delaying it for 10 hours. The aircraft made a first attempt to leave around 12 noon, an hour behind schedule, and returned to the gate, after which the flight was delayed while waiting for a spare aircraft. As no spare became available - it was also broke -, the original MD11 was scheduled again for a 20.00 departure, but the aircraft returned once again after 40 minutes of taxiing and what's likely to have been a scenis tour of SPL. KLM delayed the flight until today and cancelled today's KL871/872 rotation.

Still yesterday, KL589/590 to ACC left AMS over 6 hours late and the return portion reached AMS this morning about 4 hours late. KL671 and KL681 to YUL and YVR respectively went out almost 2 hours late. All these delays were the result of technical issues with the MD11 aircraft.

Earlier this week, on Sunday, an MD11 originating in CUR and bound for AMS as KL736 was forced to make an unscheduled refueling stop at SNN, and the same aircraft was later grounded for several hours at AMS before being allowed to leave for YUL as KL671, delayed by 5 hours. On Monday, KL681 to YVR was delayed by almost 6 hours for yet another technical issue with the assigned MD11 aircraft.

KLM has been very well aware of the declining dispatch reliability (currently below 92%, which is very low for international standards of widebody dispatch reliability) of its MD11 fleet, and while I am not saying that the airline is the sole responsible, very little corrective action to assure a more stable and on time operation seems to have been taken by the airline. This summer, the MD11 fleet has been scheduled with a higher average utilization than ever before, and it is clear that plenty of delays, cancellations and other irregularities will be inevitable.

I believe that the new mission of the MD11 fleet, which is to serve mainly holiday and lower yielding markets - hence the very small WBC cabin - has been specifically designed because the airline is aware of the MD11 troubles and somehow seems to believe that it can get away with these issues easier on these lower yielding routes than on those routes that attract a higher rate of delay-sensitive business traffic.

This summer, the MD11 is deployed on the following KLM longhaul routes:

AMS EWR (April and May only)
AMS YUL
AMS YVR
AMS CUR
AMS SXM AUA
AMS BON AUA
AMS AUA
AMS BON GYE UIO
AMS ACC
AMS LOS (selected flights only)
AMS NBO (April only)
AMS JRO DAR
AMS DEL
AMS HYD

The MD11 is expected to stay in the KLM fleet at least until 2012 and retirement of the aircraft is expected to be completed by 2015 at the latest.
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Old Apr 4, 07, 4:33 pm   #2
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One can only wonder how long KLM is going to keep up with these MD-11 problems.
Maybe keeping a few B763ER might not have been such a bad idea after all / ordered more B772ER/A332.
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Old Apr 5, 07, 10:34 am   #3
  
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Ams-acc-ams Xxld

To add to the misery, tomorrow's KL589 and KL590 AMS-Accra-AMS have been cancelled.
Another MD-11 related cancellation.
Happy Easter everyone!!
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Old Apr 5, 07, 9:51 pm   #4
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To add to the misery, tomorrow's KL589 and KL590 AMS-Accra-AMS have been cancelled.
Another MD-11 related cancellation.
Well, on Thursday KL671/YUL went again out 5 hours late, and it seems as if the airline is again short of 1 MD11 frame overall. From what I hear, the latest is that some defect has been discovered in the aircraft's fuel pump and that all 10 frames have to go into the hangar as soon as possible to have the entire fuel pump replaced, an operation which apparently takes a day or 2 of hangar time. KLM doesn't have that kind of operational spare available in the schedule, so expect more woes in the next month or so.
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Old Apr 5, 07, 10:48 pm   #5
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Two more MD11 out of action

Two more MD11 aircraft have been grounded because of technical issues. The aircraft which left for YUL on Thursday as KL671 is now stuck there and will return to AMS 26 hours behind schedule. Also KL753/04APR is stuck in Bonaire since yesterday and did not return to AMS this morning but is delayed 24 hours.

Meanwhile, another MD11 operation KL769/05APR to BON and AUA is operating 3 hours behind schedule because it had technical issues in AMS yesterday. That makes for half the MD11 fleet either in the hanger, grounded or operating behind schedule.

As a result of these irregularities, KL589/590 AMS ACC AMS is cancelled and KL671/672 AMS YUL AMS will be operated by a full pax B744.

Last edited by HB-IWC; Apr 5, 07 at 11:06 pm
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Old Apr 6, 07, 12:14 am   #6
  
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WOW !!! ouch(maybe)

Gee, here I am-a first time KLM flyer, tomorrow. YVR-AMS(on the OTP deal ) returning on 4/13(Yes it's a Friday and yes it's the 13th-colored me screwed)

Looks as if I better plan on some (highly) possible excitement.

Guess the good news is, as of now, I'm in 2G on the outbound.
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Old Apr 6, 07, 1:14 pm   #7
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This is going to be a really dumb question, but how come do they have so many problems with the MD11?

They are not that old.
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Old Apr 6, 07, 1:43 pm   #8
  
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and more...

KL565/566 AMS-NBO-AMS for 8 April were cancelled today as the 747-combi that is supposed to operate these sectors is still stuck in the hangar due to maintenance taking longer than expected.

Last edited by jetfan; Apr 6, 07 at 2:21 pm
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Old Apr 6, 07, 2:22 pm   #9
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Sounds like my two trips to YVR in July/August will yield lots of fun, with all transatlantic segments scheduled on the MD11.
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Old Apr 6, 07, 11:19 pm   #10
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KL565/566 AMS-NBO-AMS for 8 April were cancelled today as the 747-combi that is supposed to operate these sectors is still stuck in the hangar due to maintenance taking longer than expected.
... and the MD11 that has been used for NBO until now, is shifting to EWR as KLM is taking over this route from NW once again.

Meanwhile the MD11 that was stuck in YUL has to stay there for 24 hours more and will only return on April 08, 48 hours behind schedule. Therefore, today's KL671/672 YUL will be operated by a 74E (yesterday was a 744) and because KL is then one 74E short, KL893/PVG will be cancelled.

I am guessing that these operational irregularities in the middle of the peak Easter season must be costing KLM loads of money in terms of missed revenue and extra expenses.
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Old Apr 7, 07, 9:26 pm   #11
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Problems have still not been sorted out: KL753/07APR to BON, GYE and UIO has been delayed overnight because there was no aircraft available. New departure time is 08.30am on April 08, or a 9-hour delay. Meanwhile KL671/672 YUL continues to be operated with just about any spare aircraft available: after a B744 and a B74E in the past two days, a B772 will today be deployed.

Today, also marks the return of KLM to the AMS EWR route as KL once again takes over the route from partner NW. KL657/658 will operate daily with... MD11 for the next couple of weeks, until addtitional A332 equipment becomes available.
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Old Apr 13, 07, 10:44 am   #12
  
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And the problems continue ... KL671 to YUL is currently expected to leave 4 hrs late from AMS ... and I'm sitting here waiting for KL672 to get home ...

I'm already guarantee to miss my 10 am connection to GVA ... and the next few flights are rather full already ....

Oh well, nothing to do except be patient and hope that they don't close the lounge at its normal time of 19:30 tonight.

[EDIT] It's now confirmed, the MD-11 got replaced by a 747 ... and yes, they will keep the lounge open for thirsty people like me [/EDIT]

Cheers,

GenevaFlyer

Last edited by GenevaFlyer; Apr 13, 07 at 5:13 pm Reason: Update on information
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Old Apr 13, 07, 11:14 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by GenevaFlyer View Post
And the problems continue ... KL671 to YUL is currently expected to leave 4 hrs late from AMS ... and I'm sitting here waiting for KL672 to get home ...

I'm already guarantee to miss my 10 am connection to GVA ... and the next few flights are rather full already ....

Oh well, nothing to do except be patient and hope that they don't close the lounge at its normal time of 19:30 tonight.

It's now confirmed, the MD-11 got replaced by a 747 ... and yes, they will keep the lounge open for thirsty people like me
The MD11 that was supposed to go to YVR as KL681 broke down, and the already delayed MD11 bound for YUL was used for that flight. Then KLM waited for an inbound 747 from Asia to operate the YUL flight - a full passenger version, so you should have plenty of room to stretch out.

KL681/YVR finally took off 3.5 hours late and KL671/YUL left 4.5 hours behind schedule

YUL is by far the riskiest destination for delays this summer as KL671 is one of the last MD11 flights to leave AMS - except for the late night KL753 to BON, GYE and UIO - and YUL is very often picked for aircraft changes.
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Old Apr 13, 07, 11:46 pm   #14
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Today's KL657/EWR is cancelled because of lack of MD11 capacity and no spare aircraft available to substitute the YUL flight. It's a busy weekend and most transatlantic return flights are packed, including the now cancelled KL658 EWR AMS.
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Old Apr 14, 07, 6:31 am   #15
  
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Fridays AMS-IAD-AMS (KL651/652) was cancelled as wel. Was it for the same reason

EDIT: sorry taught AMS-EWR was on the A332
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