The inaugural KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight out of Amsterdam arrived in Barbados on Saturday evening to a welcoming party that included a water salute from the Barbados Fire Service and music played by the Barbados Defence Force Zouave Band.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins, along with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.’s (BTMI) Interim Head of Global Markets, Cheryl Carter; Deputy Ambassador, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Cor Stouten, and Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Barbados, Anthony Gittens, welcomed the flight crew and passengers to the island.
Minister Cummins presented gift packages with local products to Mr. Stouten, Mr. Gittens and flight crew, and passengers were treated to local products from Banks Holding, including Banks Beer and Limited Edition pink packaging Plus Power Up beverage.
Pilot Captain Geert-Jan van Teeffelen, along with 11 flight crew members, and over 180 passengers, including BTMI’s Director for Europe, Anita Nightingale, arrived on the flight.
Ms. Nightingale, speaking on what it means for this new partnership with KLM, stated: “The objective of the European division is to rebuild the market by getting partnerships with well-known trusted airlines with wide networks. We secured Lufthansa in 2019 for the winter and this year KLM.
“KLM is special because it was the very first airline that arrived in Barbados back in 1938. The Dutch are equally excited about returning to the island as shown by the 180 plus arrivals today.”
The KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was the first commercial airline to arrive at Seawell Airport in Barbados on October 19, 1938.
As one of the longest-running airlines in the world, and operating under its original name for 100 years, KLM is the largest long-haul carrier from Europe, serving 318 destinations in 118 countries with 80 codeshare partners.
KLM Flights will operate non-stop from Amsterdam to Barbados, three days a week – Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. The service will run until March 31, 2022.
Before the flight arrived, Minister Cummins and BTMI and KLM personnel stationed here did rapid antigen testing for COVID-19.