KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will phase in a new meal service concept in its economy-class cabins for intercontinental flights, as it cuts the number of cabin crew on many routes.

A new collective labor agreement for KLM’s flight attendants includes a clause that one fewer crewmember will be assigned to many intercontinental flights. This has led the airline to look at ways of making service in the economy-class cabin more efficient.

The move follows the recent announcement of refurbished KLM Airbus long-haul cabins.

At the start of an intercontinental flight, economy-class passengers will receive a bottle of water, a refreshing towel and earphones. After this initial service, they will be offered an extended choice of meals on flights out of Amsterdam.

Intercontinental flights will be subdivided into daytime and night-time flights, but also into short-, medium- and long-range intercontinental routes.

The overall service will be adjusted per zone, so that it coincides as closely as practicable with passengers’ biorhythms, the airline said.

On intercontinental daytime flights out of Amsterdam, the new meal service will include a choice of warm dishes, a large salad and dessert. On medium-range and longer intercontinental flights the selection of snacks will be further extended with ice cream, sweets and savory snacks. Passengers can serve themselves to these snacks from the galley.

By better utilizing the space on meal trays, trolleys can be stocked with more trays, ensuring that passengers are served more quickly.

The new service will be available by the end of this year.

Alan Dron alandron@adepteditorial.com