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KLM strengthens its links with Scotland

Press Release   •   Dec 09, 2015 11:48 GMT

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is set to expand its medium-haul network with daily flights to (and from) Inverness, marking the airline’s 4th Scottish destination and 17th UK destination. The route will form part of KLM’s new summer schedule for 2016.

Commencing on the 17th of May 2016, the daily flight will connect Inverness to KLM’s award-winning hub Schiphol, in Amsterdam. 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 Fokker 70 jet aircraft, carrying up to 80 passengers.

Fares start from £79 return in economy including all taxes. Flights are open for sale from today on the airline’s website www.klm.com, at KLM Reservations on 0207 66 00 293 and local travel agents.

The launch of the Inverness service further cements KLM’s position as the UK’s regional airline of choice and brings the total of Scottish airports served by the airline to 4, including Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, providing a choice of more than 100 weekly flights to Scottish passengers.

The introduction of Inverness as a new destination also makes it the UK’s largest regional full service intercontinental carrier. Departure airports include London (Heathrow and City), Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton, Durham Tees Valley, Humberside, Norwich, Southampton and now Inverness. As such, KLM is proud to provide flight connections from the UK regions to the world.

On top of adding the new Inverness and Southampton services for Summer 2016, KLM will also be increasing capacity on its UK network including in Birmingham and Leeds Bradford airports.

KLM’s decision to introduce services out of Inverness airport follows a strong business case put forward by the airport and our decision to position KLM as the key intercontinental airline for the regions. The research showed significant support for business and leisure sectors for the commencement of the route.

KLM is regarded as one of Scotland’s major network carriers and won the regarded SPAA (Scottish Passenger Agent’s Association) “Best European Airline” award for the 15th consecutive year in November, despite fierce competition in Scotland.

KLM’s hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is consistently voted one of Europe’s best business airports and was voted Best Airport in Europe at the 2015 Business Traveller Awards for the 15th consecutive year. Connections to European cities can be made in as little as 40 minutes; to long haul destinations 50 minutes is enough to efficiently transfer at the airport.

Scott Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Partnerships Director, said:

“This daily service, flying directly into Inverness, is fantastic news for the Highlands. It not only links Inverness to one of the world's major aviation hubs - unlocking the potential for growth in our long-haul and emerging markets - but creates further opportunities for our European visitors, many of whom are repeat visitors, to fly directly to the north of Scotland.

“VisitScotland’s objective is to see our country connected into every global airline network and alliance, which is key to growing the visitor economy. This new service from KLM will further enhance the promotion of the Highlands as a must-visit destination where visitors can explore distinct and beautiful landscapes and discover the world-renowned North Coast 500 route."

Warner Rootliep, General Manager of Air France-KLM UK & Ireland said:

“Demand from Scotland continues to grow and KLM has always invested in its Scottish network and local relationships in the region. We are happy to strengthen our presence in Scotland and are confident this news will be well received. Our experience of being the UK’s largest regional long-haul carrier means we are best placed to understand the needs of local communities and regional businesses and we know that the service we will provide out of Inverness will perfectly answer the needs of the people of Northern Scotland."

Inglis Lyon, Managing Director of Inverness Airport operator HIAL, said:

“We are delighted to welcome KLM to Inverness Airport. This service will deliver more choice for passengers from one of Europe’s leading international airlines. With a global network of more than 150 worldwide destinations, KLM’s arrival ensures local businesses are better connected to key markets around the world, while tourism providers will also benefit as Inverness joins KLM’s world network of destinations. Given the strength of KLM’s brand, reputation and global connections, we are confident this new service will deliver significant benefits for the Highlands.”

Minister for Transport and Islands, Derek Mackay said:

“This new Inverness-Amsterdam route from KLM is fantastic news, boosting connectivity to the Highlands and Scotland as a whole. By opening up a wide range of onward connections from Schiphol, one of Europe’s busiest hub airports, we offer Scottish businesses improved access to important global markets. This link also makes it even easier for visitors to get a taste of the fantastic experiences on offer in the Highlands, which is welcome news for the tourism industry. The Scottish Government is keen to support HIAL to continue to grow the number of routes available from Inverness Airport in the future. I look forward to the new service taking off next year and wish HIAL and KLM every success.”

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

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.com as well as save time by checking in online up to one hour before departure.

Notes to Editors

    • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
    • 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.
    • According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism      economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
    • 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/
    • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
    • For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
    • For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com


    Year of Food and Drink 2015

    • 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
    • Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
    • A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
    • For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland