The airline will make the switch by March 2020 as part of a plan to cut down on emissions
A much-criticised route between the Dutch and Belgian capitals could soon cease to be one of the hot topics on environmentalists’ plates. By 29 March next year, the Royal Dutch Airlines will drop one of their Amsterdam–Brussels flights to reduce their environmental impact. It will operate four instead of five flights a day as customers will instead be offered the choice of taking a train.
According to KLM’s press release, in recent months, they have developed a long-term plan together with Thalys and NS Dutch Railways to reduce the number of flights between Brussels airport and Amsterdam Schiphol airport. The basic premise is that the product should match its current appeal to customers.
The distance between the two airports is one of the shortest in the world (about 200 km) and using a regular train service would be considered more environment-friendly. In the future, KLM said, it “intends to gradually reduce the number of flights between Brussels and Schiphol”.
Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO, said: “Intermodal transport involving trains and planes remains a complex and challenging business. 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.”
Trains must fully “match the speed, reliability and comfort that air travel offers passengers”
KLM has often indicated its willingness to replace “short-haul flights with rail services, as long as trains fully match the speed, reliability and comfort that air travel offers passengers”. Many travellers make use of the route as they plan to catch international and intercontinental flight connections to different parts of the world.
The initiative is part of KLM’s “Fly Responsibly” programme to create a sustainable future for transport. It also incorporates all of the airline’s current and future efforts to improve the sustainability of its activities.