Liverpool John Lennon Airport welcomed its newest airline today with the arrival from Reykjavik of the first flight to and from Liverpool by new Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced its intention to operate new services out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, thereby renewing a partnership, which first began seventy years ago. On commencement of its 2009 summer schedule, KLM will launch a new service between Amsterdam and Liverpool, connecting the Liverpool City Region, Cheshire and North Wales with over 100 worldwide destinations on KLM’s own intercontinental network and with over 650 destinations across KLM’s Skyteam partner networks.
Effective from 29 March 2009, KLM cityhopper will operate the new scheduled service three times daily using Fokker 70 jet aircraft carrying up to 80 passengers. The flight schedule will be:
0615 LPL 0835 AMS
0925 AMS 0950 LPL
1030 LPL 1250 AMS
1625 AMS 1650 LPL
1730 LPL 1950 AMS
2030 AMS 2055 LPL
Seats will be bookable from Tuesday 4 November via www.klm.com, at KLM Reservations on 0871 222 7474 and local travel agents. The flight schedule may be subject to modification.
KLM first flew services from Liverpool to Amsterdam on 1 June 1934* until 31 August 1939 but once WW2 began flights were discontinued until now.
The launch of the Liverpool service continues KLM’s expansion of its regional UK network bringing the total of British airports served by the airline to 15 and making it on of the UK’s largest regional full service intercontinental carrier with a network that stretches from Aberdeen to London.
KLM’s decision to reintroduce services out of Liverpool John Lennon Airport follows extensive research across its UK passenger base and with key travel trade partners. The research showed a growing demand from businesses in the North West of the UK for expansion to Liverpool as well as from the large student population. The UK’s fourth largest city, and one of its fastest growing business centres, has a core catchment area of 1.2 million passengers with a wider catchment area of 6.9 million passengers. In addition the city’s international profile has grown with its current accolade of European Capital of Culture 2008.
Pieter Elbers, Senior Vice President Network at KLM: "We are delighted to be renewing our partnership with Liverpool after such a long absence. By adding Liverpool to our network today, KLM has further strengthened its position in the UK market, one of the most important markets in the extensive network of KLM." The UK accounts for 17% of KLM’s worldwide traffic.
The new services will connect Liverpool John Lennon Airport to KLM’s hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, an airport which is consistently voted one of Europe’s best business airports and this year was voted Best Airport in Europe at the Business Traveller magazine Awards.
Says Neil Pakey, deputy CEO of the Peel Airports Group, owners of Liverpool John Lennon Airport, "The announcement of KLM to commence flights to the Schiphol hub in Amsterdam, is a lasting legacy for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year, providing global connectivity for the Liverpool City Region.
KLM’s flights will make doing business with international markets in Liverpool much more straight forward and attractive, and for people looking to experience new destinations and cultures, across Asia, Africa or the Americas, then KLM’s offer at John Lennon Airport will deliver this for Liverpool for the first time."
Liverpool’s emergence as a premier European city destination has been underlined by huge investments in recent years that have strengthened the City Region’s economy. Liverpool’s growth continues to be a UK success story. Over five years, the growth of Liverpool’s economy (up by 27.7%) has exceeded that of Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham. The region hosts major operations by key international Dutch companies such as Shell and Unilever as well as other international brands including Pilkingtons; Jaguar Land Rover; Vauxhall; Prinovis; JP Morgan Invest and Coutts Bank.
Lorraine Rogers, Chief Executive of investment and tourism body The Mersey Partnership comments: "This route adds an exciting new dimension to Liverpool City Region’s connectivity to the rest of the world. It will be a significant driver for further growth across our business sectors including tourism, and once again positions Liverpool at the centre of worldwide connections. Delivering this hub connection for Liverpool City Region has been both an Airport and a TMP priority for three years and we are delighted that agreement has been reached with a carrier of the calibre, reputation and experience of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines."
*In 1934 KLM flew 969 passengers, 3984kgs of cargo and 564kgs of mail to and from Liverpool Airport.
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