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Liverpool John Lennon Airport today played host to guests and passengers celebrating the start of the new KLM service to Amsterdam Schiphol which now links Liverpool with hundreds of destinations across the world, for the first time in almost 17 years.

KLM, who recently won the prestigious 2009 Business Travel World Award for Best Short Haul Travel Provider for the second time in five years, now connects 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 via Schiphol.

KLM cityhopper will operate the new scheduled service three times daily using Fokker 70 jet aircraft carrying up to 80 passengers.

To celebrate, local media and invited guests including representatives from The Mersey Partnership, Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, and Liverpool City Council joined passengers to witness a traditional airport aircraft ‘baptism’ performed by the Airport Fire and Rescue Service, who sprayed water over the aircraft using their emergency vehicles, prior to the 10:30am departure to Amsterdam.

Neil Pakey, Deputy CEO of Peel Airports said, "Passengers can now travel between Liverpool John Lennon Airport and hundreds of worldwide destinations for the first time in many many years. Bookings have already been made to or from cities across all five continents and this important new route will be a tremendous asset for the city region improving its competitiveness going forward. Everyone at the Airport is tremendously excited by the prospect of being able to welcome travellers from across the world to this great City."

Christine Ourmières, General Manager, Air France KLM, UK and Ireland comments "KLM is delighted with the level of support received from the Liverpool region. It’s an exciting new territory and a positive addition to our extensive UK network. Forward bookings on the route are growing strongly and we expect this to increase further as KLM becomes established within the area."

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