EUROPE: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is to replace one of its five daily flights between Brussels and Amsterdam Schiphol with reserved seat capacity on a Thalys high speed train service from March 29 2020.
This is intended as the first step in a programme to gradually cut back the number of flights between Brussels and Amsterdam, with passengers using rail to connect with intercontinental flights at Schiphol. This would support the airline’s sustainability initiatives, and enable airport slots to be used for flights to long-haul destinations.
KLM said it was favour of replacing short-haul flights with rail ‘as long as trains fully match the speed, reliability and comfort that air travel offers’.
‘Intermodal transport involving trains and planes remains a complex and challenging business’, said President & CEO Pieter Elbers. ‘Speed is key, not only in terms of the train itself, but also the transfer process at the airport. We aim to make maximum progress in both areas. Reducing our frequency from five to four flights a day is a good way of gaining more experience with Air&Rail services.’