KLM launches no-frills airline Buzz

THE DUTCH airline KLM yesterday unveiled plans to launch a new low-cost airline next year called Buzz. The carrier will initially fly from Stansted airport to seven European destinations using a fleet of eight BAe 146 aircraft.

Buzz will be in direct competition with British Airways' no-frills airline Go and Ryanair, which also fly from Stansted, as well as easyJet and Debonair.

KLM shrugged off concerns that the low-cost airline market was becoming too crowded, saying that passenger numbers were projected to grow three- fold from 5.4 million last year to 15 million in 2003.

It also aims to differentiate Buzz from other no-frills operators by offering a "pay-as-you-go service" enabling passengers to buy extras such as special meals. There will be two fare bands.

It will initially fly to Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Milan, Paris and Vienna.

Outlook, page 21

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