Leading regional Scottish airport operator, Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd (HIAL), has announced Dutch national carrier KLM will, for the summer 2017 timetable, increase its flights from Inverness to Amsterdam, from one to two per day.
The additional flight provides an early morning departure time that will improve the onward connectivity from Schiphol to the rest of the world.
Tickets are now on sale for the additional daily flight which will begin on May 15. The second flight is initially scheduled to run until October 28 – to coincide with the busy summer season.
KLM introduced its Amsterdam Schiphol service in May, 2016 and since then has seen a high level of bookings from travellers. As one of the world’s great aviation hubs Schiphol allows passengers quick and convenient access to transfers to and from the rest of the world.
The new flight will also feature a larger aircraft – the Embraer 90 is a 100-seat aeroplane – to accommodate anticipated increased demand on the route.
HIAL managing director Inglis Lyon, said: “An extra flight will make a huge difference to passengers wishing to travel for business and pleasure. The early morning departure means travellers have more options for onward connections.”
“This is a fantastic commitment from the airline to the Highlands region and is mainly due to the 2016 passenger numbers punching above their weight.”
Inverness Airport, where HIAL is headquartered, illustrated its popularity and increasingly important role to the Highland region by welcoming 796,854 passengers in 2016, a 17.4% year-on-year rise in passenger numbers for 2015 when it had 678,683 passengers – an increase of 118,171 passengers.
Scottish Government Minister for Transport and the Islands, Humza Yousaf, said: “This is very welcome news from KLM and a real vote of confidence in Inverness Airport.
“A second daily flight will give people greater choice when it comes to their travel plans and, by using larger planes on the route, it’s a real opportunity for both the airport and the airline to build on the fantastic passenger numbers we’ve already seen on this service.
“Having more flights to an important hub airport like Schiphol is crucial to the connectivity of the Highlands, and Scotland as a whole, and I look forward to this new service getting off the ground in the summer.”
Tony Story managing director of the Patio Hotel Group based in Inverness, welcomed the KLM announcement: “The more international flights we can attract to the Highlands the greater opportunities we have to welcome visitors to the region. Greater connectivity has obvious benefits for the local economy and opens up new business opportunities.”
“We are delighted to announce a frequency increase on our service from Inverness to Amsterdam and are confident that it will be warmly welcomed by our loyal passengers. Demand for efficient, seamless and convenient schedules from Scotland continues to grow and we know how important connectivity is to the local Highland community” commented Warner Rootliep, General Manager Air France-KLM UK & Ireland.
He added: “For this reason, we are pleased to offer more passengers access to our worldwide network via our award-winning hub at Amsterdam Schiphol. The additional service will also see an increase in inbound traffic and we are proud to be in a position to further support tourism and local business in the region”