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Thalys high-speed train, source: Wikipedia

Trains will replace planes on Amsterdam-Brussels link

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is going to replace one of its daily services between Brussels and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with a Thalys high-speed train. In the long term, KLM together with Thalys and Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) will substitute other flights between Brussels and Schiphol with train services.

The new option is called Air&Rail and will be effective from 29 March 2020 when the summer season will start in aviation. Most of the passengers flying on the planes from Brussels to Schiphol use these flights as connections to long-haul destinations provided by KLM. Therefore, the airline considers that the trains could provide more reliable and comfort travel on this route.

“KLM has regularly indicated that it is in favour of replacing short-haul flights with rail services, as long as trains fully match the speed, reliability and comfort that air travel offers passengers,” the company stated. Its CEO Pieter Elbers also noted that the multimodal service will provide a faster connection between Brussels and Schiphol airport. “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,” he said.

Fly Responsibly

KLM, Thalys and NS have jointly developed a long-term plan to reduce the number of flights between Brussels and Schiphol. This step is a part of KLM’s commitment to “Fly Responsibly”, which aims to create a sustainable future for air transport, but it also reflects our commitment to the sector plan Smart and Sustainable. In addition, KLM has a lack of slots at Schiphol airport. To this end, trains are good opportunity for the company. They allow KLM to focus on the long-haul flights and maintain feeder traffic on short distances.

To book the Air&Rail option, the passengers are to use the KLM’s official website or make it via travel agents. To ensure smoother connections with the long-haul flights, Thalys, NS, KLM and Schiphol are seeking to improve baggage handling and other services. A special Air&Rail check-in desk is expected to be open at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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