Ceremonial water cannon, inaugural flight, and champagne reception celebrate KLM’s new route from Belfast, the carrier’s 19th departure point in the UK and IrelandKLM began its new daily flight service from George Best Belfast City Airport this week. To mark the launch of the new route, the inaugural flight was welcomed to Belfast with a ceremonial water cannon, which was followed by a champagne evening reception at Ulster Museum.
The new flight from Belfast marks KLM’s 19th departure point in the UK and Ireland. It offers Belfast passengers convenient access to KLM’s worldwide network of over 200 destinations, in more than 100 countries, via the award-winning Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Prices start from £79 return, including taxes and fees.
The water cannons saluted the inaugural flight arriving from Amsterdam at the start of the new KLM service, which is operating one flight to Amsterdam per day. The flights depart George Best Belfast City Airport at 11.15am and arrive in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol at 1.50pm, and a return leg departs Amsterdam at 10am and lands in Belfast at 10.40am.
The first flight was followed by an exclusive evening champagne reception, with guests including Pieter Bootsma, Executive Vice President, Commercial Strategy at Air France-KLM, who gave a speech outlining the reasons behind KLM’s choice to begin flights from Belfast, the opportunities the route presents for business and leisure travellers, plans for future growth, and more.
KLM has been promoting the new route launch from Belfast for a number of weeks, with a series of exclusive hosted events and targeted campaigns. In April, KLM invited Belfast media and local competition winners on board a scenic flight over Belfast in the iconic KLM DC-3 plane, the world’s first commercial aircraft originally built in 1944, to experience the golden age of travel.
With customer-friendly technology and innovative products remaining at the heart of KLM’s strategy, Belfast passengers will benefit from KLM’s award-winning services, which include payment for flights via social media, high speed customer service available on Twitter 24 hours a day, and the award-winning Flying Blue frequent flyer programme, offering exclusive benefits for KLM passengers.
Pieter Bootsma, Executive Vice President, Commercial Strategy at Air France-KLM, said: ‘George Best Belfast City Airport marks a significant addition to our growing network across the UK and Ireland. We recognise the importance of the city airport as a convenient departure point for both business and leisure travellers, and are pleased to now offer Belfast passengers access to our worldwide network of over 200 destinations, via our award-winning hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Our new daily service from Belfast marks our 19th departure point in the UK and Ireland and demonstrates our continued commitment to the Irish market. We are already seeing a good level of bookings on this new route, and look forward to welcoming new and returning passengers to fly with KLM in the coming months.’
Katy Best, Commercial and Marketing Director for Belfast City Airport, said: ‘KLM’s decision to include Belfast City Airport is a significant feat for Northern Ireland and both business and leisure passengers within the region, who benefit from the airline’s competitive fares to Amsterdam and an endless list of worldwide destinations.
In addition to this, the new service will play a huge role in driving inward tourism to Northern Ireland. As a one terminal airport, Amsterdam Schiphol offers a quick and convenient transfer product making Belfast and Northern Ireland more accessible than ever for international tourists.
It remains a primary aim of the airport to develop our route network, particularly where improving direct access to major European cities is concerned, and we are delighted with our latest arrivals. Due to our location, just a few minutes’ drive from Belfast city centre, and continuous private investment in our facilities, which has exceeded £15 million in the last few years, Belfast City Airport remains an attractive facility to both passengers and airlines.’
Pictured: Warner Rootliep, General Manager UK and Ireland, Air France-KLM; Pieter Bootsma, Executive Vice President, Commercial Strategy, Air France-KLM; Jonathan Bell, NI Minister of Enterprise, Trade & Investment (DETI); Brian Ambrose, Chief Executive, Belfast City Airport; and Carl Schelleman, Commercial Director Europe and North Africa, Air France-KLM