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Cummins hails new KLM service to Barbados


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Cummins hails new KLM service to Barbados
Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins - FP

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Tourism officials said on Wednesday a new KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight will make a strong start on its route from Amsterdam to Barbados, opening gateways for business into Europe.

The Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. said in a news release that the first flight booked to arrive on October 16 is already sold out.

Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Senator Lisa Cummins described it as a major boost for the island’s tourism.

“We look forward to welcoming KLM once more, two decades later, to our shores,” she said.

“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 heart-warming.”

She added: “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 secrtor back to life in these extraordinary circumstances.

“So I want to commend the efforts of the entire team, in particular our teams at home here in the ministry, GAIA [Grantley Adams International Airport], and our overseas markets in this case, specifically the Europe team, who have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.”

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 (now GAIA) in Barbados on October 19, 1938.

Now, 83 years later, it is making history again with a sold-out flight from Amsterdam to Barbados.

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 2021-22,” Cummins said.

“We are committed to keeping this thrust going through the rest of the season.”

The new KLM service will provide greater access and seamless connectivity to and from major European countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and Scandinavia, via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in The Netherlands.

“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,” Cummins said.

“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.”

Flights will operate non-stop from Amsterdam to Barbados, three days a week Monday, Thursday, and Saturday until March 31 next year on KLM’s modern, efficient fleet of Airbus A330-200 with 264 seats in three classes, including business.

(AR)