FLASBACK - AATT and Ministry of Tourism Officials meet with agents from KLM Royal Dutch Airline in January 2020, at the Piarco International Airport. (Image courtesy AATT)

The Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) is confirming that when this country’s borders reopen to international travel, one of the airlines flying to T&T will be KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

An official statement from the Authority reports on the acquisition of a new airline—KLM Royal Dutch Airlines—and route to the Piarco International Airport, originating in Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.

“This phenomenal news comes on the heels of three years of work where the Authority initiated talks at a Routes event and developed a relationship with KLM Royal Dutch Airline,” the Authority states.

Routes is an aviation industry networking conference that brings together representatives and key decision makers of airlines, airports and tourism bodies from all over the world. The Forum facilitates Air Service Development, that is the systematic approach by airports and associated stakeholders to increase air lift to a destination via airport and destination marketing.

Leading discussions on T&T’s behalf with representatives from KLM Royal Dutch Airline at the Routes conferences were Hayden Newton, AATT General Manager; Emmanuel Baah, Deputy General Manager, Estates Planning and Business Development; and Joanna Fridy, AATT Marketing Manager.

“We are very pleased to welcome KLM airlines.  The hope of new air service routes, especially with the COVID-19 pandemic’s negative impact on global travel, is a great accomplishment for the Authority and Trinidad and Tobago. We will continue to work with all stakeholders to promote confidence in the strong recovery of our airports upon the opening of Trinidad and Tobago’s borders,” Hayden Newton said, on receiving the news of KLM’s decision to fly to T&T.

“The airline will be flying the route Amsterdam – Barbados – Trinidad – Amsterdam (AMS- BGI-POS-AMS). KLM has signalled its intention to travel to Port of Spain, when our borders reopen, as part of their winter schedule. This will allow us to build a market in Europe and undoubtedly assist with ongoing national tourism efforts,” he pointed out.

According to the AATT, the introduction of KLM can result in lower costs to travel to Europe through increased competition with the addition of a new carrier. Travellers can also look forward to faster times in reaching their final destinations as Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) is a major European hub, which offers direct connections to cities in Europe and across the world.

Newton observed: “The new service also will open up the European market for Trinidad and Tobago’s exporters of fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. Amsterdam is a large market for agricultural products and will provide a vital link in agricultural exports.”

KLM is a Skytrax 4-star rated airline which was established in 1919. It is the national carrier of the Netherlands. KLM operates an extensive network which includes services within Europe and to Asia, Africa, North America, Central and South America, and the Middle East.