klm and AATT

Officials from the Airport Authority of Trinidad and Tobago and the Ministry of Tourism hold discussions with agents from KLM Royal Dutch Airline at a meeting at the Piarco International Airport in January.

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."


Taxpayers have forked out close to $4 million in legal fees in the matter of Vertical Aviation LLC and the lease of the Sikorsky S76D helicopter by the former government.

Vertical Aviation had claimed the Government failed to satisfy its obligations under the lease by not paying rent and interest due for late rent payments, failed to replenish the security deposit after the aviation company applied the deposit funds to late rent payments, failed to enrol the aircraft in a tip-to-tail maintenance programme and did not maintain insurance for the aircraft.

Professor of molecular genetics and virology at The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Christine Carrington says while there are yet no confirmed cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Trinidad and Tobago, it is only a matter of time before the highly transmissible variant is detected here.

Carrington was speaking during yesterday’s virtual news conference hosted by the Ministry of Health.

A 41-year-old woman remained in police custody yesterday, being questioned in connection with the murder of Maritime General and Fidelity Finance chairman and Piarco Airport corruption accused John Smith, 74, on Friday afternoon.

Around 4.30 p.m. on Friday, offi­cers of the Maraval Police Station responded to a call that there was a domestic dispute at a residence in Haleland Park, Saddle Road, Mara­val.

For decades, Trinidad and Tobago has battled a raging gang problem.

Successive governments and law enforcement have fought to reduce criminal organisations which have engaged in well-executed mafia-style illegal operations, including drug and gun running, money laundering, prostitution, extortion, and crimes like murders, robberies and even what are regarded as white-collar ventures.

THE manager at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) who cleared an employee of any wrongdoing following a complaint against him has signed an affidavit saying he was repeatedly called upon to change his findings in the matter.

He also said he was denied several requests to interview the Min­ister of Public Utilities for a “witness statement in the matter”.

What happened in the canefield was a planned and frenzied assault, Justice Lisa Ramsumair-­Hinds said, in deli­vering guilty verdicts yesterday on Sean Luke murderers Akeel Mitchell and Richard Chatoo.

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