Trinidad and Tobago's air travel industry is set to get a major boost with the announcement of the addition of a new route to Amsterdam.
On Thursday, the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT) announced the acquisition of a new route and airline to the Piarco International Airport, originating in Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
AATT said that this phenomenal news comes on the heels of three years of work where it initiated talks at a Routes event and developed a relationship with KLM Royal Dutch Airline.
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. That forum facilitates Air Service Development - the systematic approach by airports and associated stakeholders to increase air lift to a destination via airport and destination marketing.
Discussions with KLM Royal Dutch Airline representatives during the Routes conferences, were led by AATT's General Manager, Hayden Newton, Deputy General Manager, Estates Planning and Business Development, Emmanuel Baah, and Marketing Manager Joanna Fridy.
On receiving the news, Newton said: "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 us 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.
"KLM is a Skytrax 4-star rated airline which was established in 1919 and is the national carrier of the Netherlands. It operates an extensive network which includes services within Europe, and to Asia, Africa, North America. Central and South America, and the Middle East. 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 said 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. The new service will also 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."
Newton stated that the Airports Authority recognises its role in the evolution of air service development and has been working assiduously with its stakeholders to persevere through the pandemic.
"AATT continues to prepare for a safe, smooth and triumphant return to travel when the aviation, tourism and other downstream industries can realise their potential to substantially contribute to national economic growth and national economic diversification."