KLM Airlines to add extra 10,000 seats from Bristol Airport for summer 2019

Netherlands-based KLM Airlines is planning to add extra 10,000 seats between Bristol and Amsterdam this summer, commencing June 24.

The expansion will allow travellers and holidaymakers to visit Amsterdam for a short break or connect to 162 KLM destinations worldwide via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. To meet the expansion plans, KLM will upgrade the aircraft operating on the weekday service to a Boeing 737 aircraft, providing an additional 32 seats per flight. KLM currently operates four daily flights to Amsterdam from Bristol and the introduction of the Boeing 737 jet service will increase the overall seat capacity by 6.2% compared to the same period last summer.

Benedicte Duval, General Manager for Air France-KLM in the UK & Ireland, said, ‘Due to strong passenger numbers and positive commercial performance on our Bristol to Amsterdam route, we are pleased to be in a position to increase route capacity for the summer 2019 season.

‘The addition of a larger Boeing 737 aircraft will provide almost 10,000 additional seats across the period, giving people in the West of England more opportunity to fly with KLM, and take advantage of our worldwide connections from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.’

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director, Bristol Airport said: ‘This is incredibly exciting news and we are delighted that KLM is adding the B737 jet service to the Amsterdam route from Bristol Airport for the first time.

‘This decision is based on the strong passenger demand in the region and represents a key milestone in our relationship with KLM. The airline has consistently improved the service and product from Bristol Airport over 30 years of the airline partnership. We look forward to additional improvements in the future which will benefit business, leisure passengers and inbound visitors with improved connectivity from Bristol to the world via the Amsterdam hub.’

Expected to serve more than nine million passengers in 2019, Bristol Airport serves nearly 126 direct routes globally.

Eurostar to launch direct London – Amsterdam train service by late 2016

Eurostar, a high-speed railway service presently connecting London with Paris and Brussels, has said that it will launch direct train services from London to Amsterdam in December 2016.

Under the plan, which follows an agreement with Dutch Railways, Eurostar will run two services a day, with a journey time of four hours via the Channel Tunnel. Trains starting from London will stop at Brussels and Antwerp in Belgium, and Rotterdam and Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, before terminating at Amsterdam Central station, Bloomberg reported, citing an email statement by Eurostar.

With a four-hour journey and two services in each direction per day, the proposed plan will provide an alternative to air travel on the London-Amsterdam route, supposedly the busiest international airline market in Europe. Around three million people travel between London and Amsterdam each year, a combination of business and leisure passengers.

‘We have long been ambitious for expansion to new destinations so today’s announcement marks a major advance in our growth plans. With over three million passengers travelling by air between London and Amsterdam, this is one of Europe’s most popular routes,’ said Nicolas Petrovic, Eurostar’s chief executive.

Currently British travellers heading to Amsterdam with Eurostar must change trains in Brussels, and the journey takes almost five hours.

The expansion plan still requires Dutch parliamentary approval after a deal with the infrastructure ministry, Petrovic said. The service will see a new generation of 186 mph e320 trains ordered from Siemens AG.

The Telegraph has quoted Lucy Drake, senior press officer with Eurostar, as saying that while the train fare was yet to be determined, it would probably be in the range of £99 return – the current charge for the non-direct journey from London to Amsterdam.

‘We will compete with the low-cost airlines flying to Amsterdam and are sure this will be a very attractive alternative,’ Ms. Drake said.

KLM Announces Services from Manston Airport in UK to Amsterdam

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the national airline of the Netherlands, will be offering services from Manston airport in eastern Kent, UK, to Amsterdam, in The Netherlands.

The new services commence from April 2, 2013, with twice daily flights from Manston airport to Schiphol airport. With the new route, the airline will be operating to 17 airports in the UK. The airline will be flying up to 80 passengers on its Fokker 70 jets.

Henri Hourcade, the UK general manager for KLM, said, ‘Demand for efficient and convenient schedules to long-haul destinations from the UK continues to grow to emerging markets in Latin America, Africa and the Far East, but equally to established markets such as North America.

By connecting the UK regions to worldwide destinations, KLM is offering more choice to holidaymakers, but equally adding to the infrastructure for regional UK businesses.’

Currently Manston Airport is being served by only charter operators, Newmarket Holidays and Jersey Travel. KLM will be the only scheduled service from the airport when it commences its operations.

Charles Buchanan, the chief executive officer at Manston Airport, said, ‘The new services will be a real benefit to Kent and its residents. Passengers will be able to arrive at Manston, park adjacent to the terminal building, check in and be on the flight to Amsterdam within minutes, a hassle-free experience that makes travelling a pleasure. Passengers from Manston can leave home without the worries of road congestion or excessive flight delays affecting their journey.’

Earlier the airline entered into a code share agreement with Flybe, a UK-based airline company, on two routes in UK; between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Southampton Airport in England; and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Inverness Airport, in Scotland.

KLM, with the new code share, is offering its customers three daily flights to Southampton from Amsterdam; and a daily flight to Inverness from Amsterdam; the agreement being effective May 30, 2012.

Megabus Launches Budget Coach Travel to Europe from London

Megabus, a city-to-city express bus service operating in the UK, has commenced new routes across the UK and to other European destinations.

The company is offering new routes from London, to Paris and Boulogne in France, Brussels in Belgium, and Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The trips are priced at rates commencing from as little as £1 per person, and there is a £0.50 booking fee on fares.

In these times of financial austerity, coach travel could offer one avenue for affordable spring and summer European vacations, and the launch of new routes by tour operators is designed to enhance the option.

Coaches leave from Victoria Coach Station in London with the choice of day or night departures. The journey from London to Paris takes around 10 hours by coach, while the journey to Brussels takes around 9 hours, and continues to Amsterdam, adding another 3 hours to the journey time. The new routes have been developed with an investment of GBP2.5m, and the double-deck coaches have 48 seats, tables for use during the daytime and complimentary Wi-Fi service.

Sir Brian Souter, the chief executive officer of Stagecoach Group, PLC, the parent company of Megabus, said, ‘We launched megabus.com in Scotland nine years ago and it has already transformed intercity travel in the UK and North America. For too long, people in many parts of Europe have been paying too much for their coach travel. Our new network offers families, students and tourists great value fares and high-quality coaches. These services will deliver a long-overdue shake-up to the over-priced European coach travel market.

Our new routes to France, Belgium and the Netherlands have already been extremely popular. Based on our experience in the UK, we are also very excited about the potential for sleeper coach services across the Channel and look forward to continuing to develop our concept vehicle.’