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Inaugural Flight Represents Huge Regional Opportunity for Business Success

Press Release   •   May 17, 2016 15:00 BST

This morning (17.05.2016) Inverness Airport welcomed KLM’s Inaugural flight from Amsterdam. To celebrate the new route, the first flight from Schiphol, Amsterdam was greeted by a water cannon salute upon arrival.  On board were Barry ter Voert, Senior Vice President, Air France KLM European Markets and Wilco Swejen, Director for Aviation Marketing, Schipol Airport. Provost Helen Carmichael, The Highland Council, Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of Highlands and Islands Aiports and Drew Hendry MP (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey) met the delegation, officially welcoming the group to the Highlands. 

Inverness Airport currently offers direct flights to 15 destinations.  This daily flight connects Inverness to KLM’s award winning hub in Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport.  The airline will offer a number of connections to its worldwide network of over 150 destinations from Scotland, including Montreal, Beijing and Hong Kong.  All flights will be operated by KLM Cityhopper, using the new generation of Embraer 175 jet aircraft, carrying up to 88 passengers.

Flight Number OriginDestinationDeparture (local time)Arrival (local time)
KL0929AmsterdamInverness9:4510:25
KL0930InvernessAmsterdam11:0013:40

Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of Highlands and Islands Airports, said:

“This is not just another new route for Inverness Airport.  Instead KLM’s daily flight connecting Inverness and Amsterdam represents a huge regional opportunity for improved levels of economic activity.  Never before has the region enjoyed such rich opportunity to trade more, export further and engage with new customers throughout the globe.  It is now up to Team Highland to reach out through Schiphol to convert new connections into deserved business success.”

Warner Rootliep, General Manager AIR FRANCE KLM UK & Ireland said:

“Demand from Scotland continues to grow which is why our Group has always invested in its Scottish network and local relationships with the region. Today we celebrate the introduction of the Inverness to Amsterdam Route and looking at the results of the route so far, I am confident we will make it a success. AIR FRANCE KLM’s Scottish offering will ensure that local businesses are better connected to key markets around the world and we are proud to provide North Scotland with connectivity to and from key worldwide destinations.”

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive at VisitScotland, said:

“We are delighted to welcome this daily service, which will fly directly into the heart of the Highlands from one of the world's major aviation hubs. Europe is our biggest international market with many visitors coming back, time and again, to explore our wonderful country. This new KLM service to Inverness offers further opportunities for repeat and first-time visitors to fly into the north of Scotland, where they can enjoy an adventurous drive along the North Coast 500, sample our national tipple on a whisky trail or take a stroll through the stunning landscapes."

Minister for Transport, Derek Mackay said:

“I’m delighted to see this new service between Inverness and Amsterdam get off the ground today.  By linking up with Schiphol, one of Europe's busiest hub airports, we continue to improve connectivity for the Highlands and Scotland as a whole.  Opening up a wide range of onward connections will offer Scottish businesses improved access to important global markets. It will also benefit our tourist industry by making it even easier for visitors to get a taste of the fantastic experiences on offer in the Highlands.  I wish Inverness Airport and KLM every success with this service and have no doubt it will prove popular with travellers.”

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

  • Photography available.  Contact Libby Keiller on 07714285202 or Julia Correia on 07894217069 or email libby.keiller@breadpr.com for further information, interviews or photography.

    About Inverness Airport:
  • Inverness Airport is a strategically significant gateway for the Highlands and Islands region and is a major economic driver for the Inner Moray Firth and wider Highland areas. Its future growth will play a vital role in making the region an attractive place in which to live, work and invest. Growth in air connectivity, both domestic and international, will also contribute towards sustainable communities and economic development. www.hial.co.uk/inverness-airport

    About Amsterdam and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

  • KLM flies via the multi-award winning hub, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The airport was voted Best European Airport by passengers at the 2013 Skytrax awards and at the Business Traveller Awards for the 15th consecutive year.
  • Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands, and known as one of the most romantic and beautiful city break destinations in Europe. For art and culture fans, the city boasts a wide range of museums and cultural attractions, including the innovative Stedelijk Museum, the Frans Hals Museum, and the Van Gogh Museum – which this year will celebrate the 125th anniversary of Amsterdam’s most famous artist.
  • The city is also known for its vibrant party scene, with a range of nightclubs and bars, and fantastic atmosphere across its many streets and squares. For those looking for a foodie treat, over 1,000 restaurants offer menus serving up everything from traditional Amsterdam staples to international fare, and shopaholics will find plenty to keep them occupied in the multi-storey department stores, boutiques, and local markets.

    About KLM

  • KLM is part of the AIR FRANCE KLM Group which was voted Business Airline of the Year 2012 at the Business Travel Awards.
  • KLM offers a choice of 17 departure points in the UK: Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Durham-Tees Valley, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Humberside, Inverness, Leeds-Bradford, London City, London Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich and Southampton. KLM provides UK passengers with seamless travel to a multitude of worldwide destinations from the convenience of their regional airport.
  • Voted Best Airline for Staff Service at the 2012 World Airline Awards, KLM offers passengers the opportunity to fly in Economy, Economy Comfort and World Business Class. Passengers can book online at www.klm.comas well as save time by checking in online up to one hour before departure.
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  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
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  • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com


    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
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ERDF.