A new European gateway is already showing promise for Barbados as the Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) prepares to receive a new direct service from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) via KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Months after the new service was announced, the first flight, scheduled for October 16, 2021 is already sold out. In addition to the exceptional response, it will be a historic moment for the country as KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was the first commercial airline to arrive at Seawell Airport in Barbados on October 19, 1938. Now, 83 years later, it is making history again with a sold-out flight from Amsterdam to Barbados.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator, Lisa Cummins described it as a major boost for the country’s tourism.
“We look forward to welcoming KLM once more, two decades later, to our shores. As we look at the state of the global tourism industry, the fact that in the midst of this pandemic, our partners continue to demonstrate such confidence in the Barbados brand, with KLM adding approximately 20,000 seats from Europe to Barbados over five months, is heartwarming.
“More importantly, it is a reflection of the work that the tourism team serving Barbados has been doing as we signal the closure of more deals for new and expanded airlift and continue to bring our sector back to life in these extraordinary circumstances,” she said.
Minister Cummins thanked staff for their efforts in making the flights a reality. “So I want to commend the efforts of the entire team, in particular our teams at home here in the Ministry, GAIA, and our overseas markets in this case, specifically the Europe team, who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.”
As one of the longest running airlines in the world, 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 code share partners.
The new KLM service will provide greater access and seamless connectivity to and from major European countries and regions such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Scandinavia, via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in The Netherlands.
Cummins added: “This development will positively enhance Barbados’ efforts to re-establish its footprint in Europe and I am very proud that Barbados can boast strong partnerships with both KLM and Lufthansa, two established European carriers, as we approach winter 2021/2022. We are committed to keeping this thrust going through the rest of the season.
“Of course, we also expect that many Barbadians and Caribbean nationals will wish to take advantage of these efficient connections to Europe from Barbados and we hope that with strong demand, the airlines will consider extending the season.
“What we are also working on with our partners is balancing our tourism push for passengers with our trade agenda to provide for cargo shipments for goods in particular perishable goods. This is critical as part of our international transport portfolio and key to our economic expansion into new markets using airlift relationships,” Senator Cummins said.
Flights will operate non-stop from Amsterdam to Barbados, three days a week Monday, Thursday and Saturday on KLM’s modern, efficient fleet of Airbus A330-200 with 264 seats in three classes including business. Departing Amsterdam at 12:25 p.m. CET and arriving at BGI 4:45 p.m. AST, the service will run until March 31st, 2022.