KLM “much needed good news” for Bajan tourism

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The reintroduction of a direct flight from mainland Europe will open up additional markets and attract tens of thousands of visitors, Tourism and International Transport Minister Lisa Cummins predicted on Monday welcoming the return of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

The new service is expected to provide 20,000 seats to Barbados over the next five months.

It is a service of KLM that inaugurated Barbadian civil aviation on October 19, 1938 when a flight from Trinidad was the first aircraft to bring passengers and mail to the new Seawell Airport, the precursor to the international airport. Grantley Adams.

Senator Cummins said the arrival of KLM was much needed good news amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is always a need for good news,” she said. “There is still a need for people to take a break from the constant angst over COVID and the return of KLM and all that this means for Barbados and the tourism industry is definitely good news.

“For many months many of our tourism workers were out of work, many of them waiting for indications that hotels would fill up with high occupancy rates, that flights would increase with load capacity, and of course, the return of partners such as KLM and new partners was a signal to them that once again their lives can return to normal.

The Tourism Minister said KLM’s commitment was further proof that Barbados was among the best destinations in the world and would also provide Barbados with opportunities to tap into the European market.

KLM, Europe’s largest long-haul carrier, serves 318 destinations in 118 countries with 80 codeshare partners.

It will operate non-stop from Amsterdam to Barbados three days a week – Monday, Thursday and Saturday, until March 31.

KLM Managing Director for the Caribbean, Claude Sarre, said Barbados TODAY he expected the commercial flight to be well received.

“France is looking for routes that can open in accordance with regulations with the COVID-19 situation and we thought it was important to have a safe destination. The measures taken by the government are strict but at least it is a way of feeling safe for the visitor who wants to enjoy their vacation in Barbados, ”said Sarre.

“We believe that Barbados has great potential because the service is amazing in Barbados and we believe that with the three flights per week we can make it possible. It’s not just Amsterdam, we also connect Europe and the rest of the world and the French market is huge for Barbados to attract tourists in winter for the next five months. (RB)

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