Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins presents KLM General Manager for the Caribbean, Claude Sarre, with a plaque to welcome the airline back to Barbados after 83 years. (GP)

Barbados is hoping to benefit from the partnership between KLM and Barbados and between the Netherlands and Barbados in areas such as trade.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, expressed this expectation from the new partnership with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, during a press briefing at the Hilton Barbados, this morning.

Minister Cummins stated: “This particular development here today… I’m hoping that together with KLM we can begin the next phase of our expansion. It is an important conversation that we must have as a nation on how we link tourism to the wider economy. 

“Tourism is not just around the recreational traveller, it is not just about leisure, and when we bring new airlift and new aircraft, we’re opening new opportunities for trade, new opportunities for international business, new opportunities to fill the top of the plane with passengers and the bottom of the plane with cargo and exports. This is an opportunity for us to generate genuine economic development and genuine economic revival.”

She noted that with KLM, Barbados can expand its reach and footprint into Europe and that the new partnership “is a clear statement of confidence in our island and we are very pleased to partner with you as you are adding 20,000 seats from Europe to Barbados over the next five months.”

Senator Cummins in her remarks also took the time to express gratitude to the staff of the Ministry especially those in BTMI, who have “stayed in the trenches” working to maintain Barbados’ tourism product in the midst of a pandemic, ensuring that people are still travelling to our island.

Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of the Netherlands, Cor Stouten, said the new partnership could open the door for tourism, culture, business and trade. (GP)

Speaking about the opportunities to be derived from the new partnership, Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Cor Stouten stated: “This will allow our two countries Barbados and the Netherlands to strengthen relationships by exploring other opportunities and to connect our two countries on matters like tourism, culture, business and trade…. this newly established connection of KLM to Barbados will add a lot to the footprint of our national pride KLM.”

KLM General Manager for the Caribbean, Claude Sarre, noted that KLM was proud to connect Barbados to the world with its Hub in Amsterdam reaching 150 destinations in the world. 

Mr. Sarre pointed out that the airline is committed to flying responsibly, and in so doing, it focuses on three key areas: Hygiene; Commercial Flexiblity; and Global warming.

“By taking a leading role in creating a more sustainable future for aviation, we are continuously investing and innovating to make our products and processes more sustainable. 

“KLM has a Carbon Reduction Roadmap, a plan that combines the available solutions of today with innovative developments for tomorrow. In 2030, we’re aiming for a reduction of 15 per cent of our total CO₂ footprint, compared to 2005,” Mr. Sarre explained.

He highlighted that KLM has an experience of 102 years in the airline industry and intends to live long by preparing for the future, and “Barbados is clearly in our plan”.

KLM Royal Dutch airlines will operate non-stop from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport to Barbados, with an Airbus A330 fully refurbished cabin with almost 300 seats, three days a week – Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.  The service will run until March 31, 2022.

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