2 July 2020
By Bryan Smyth
On August 3 next, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will start operating a daily service from Cork Airport to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport. The inaugural flight initially planned for March 30 was delayed due to the travel restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Linking the South of Ireland to the capital city of the Netherlands, the route will be operated by KLM Cityhopper using an Embraer 175 aircraft, carrying 88 passengers. Throughout the summer period, passengers will have the opportunity to connect to up to 100 European and intercontinental destinations via KLM’s hub at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
Welcoming the new route, Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork Airport said, “KLM is a fabulous airline and we’re really thrilled to finally welcome them to Cork Airport. KLM is part of the Air France KLM group, both parts of which be operating from Cork this year”.
“I firmly believe that more choice is always good for the travelling public. The new service will connect directly into the KLM network in Amsterdam offering great prices and great long-haul options direct from Cork Airport. We expect tourism and the business community throughout the South of Ireland will see the benefits of this new service operated by crisp blue Embraer KLM aircraft from August,” he added.
Benedicte Duval, General Manager for UK & Ireland said, “We’re delighted to be able to continue with our ambition to extend our network in Ireland. The introduction of the KLM Cork to Amsterdam service means that we now have both Air France and KLM operating from Cork. This results in further choice and connectivity for our customers as they can combine the two carriers when travelling long-haul”.
“As borders reopen and travel restrictions begin to ease, safety is a prerequisite for KLM as we gradually resume travel. As we all adapt to this new environment, I can assure you that all KLM staff, both on the ground and onboard, are committed to guaranteeing our passengers the highest levels of health & safety. After this challenging period, we look forward to welcoming our Irish customers back on board,” she said.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak began, KLM has introduced a range of health and safety measures including:
- The compulsory wearing of masks for all passengers, crew members and airport handling agents in contact with customers
- The modification of customer channels on the ground with the implementation of physical distancing along the customer journey at the airport and the installation of transparent protection screens at airports when possible
- The implementation of physical distancing in the airport and on board where this is possible. Current low load factors make it possible to separate customers in most circumstances. In cases where this is not possible, compulsory face masks ensure adequate health protection.
- The reinforcement of daily aircraft cleaning procedures, with the disinfection of all surfaces in contact with customers such as armrests, tables and screens
- Adapting in-flight service to limit interaction between customers and crew members. On domestic flights and short flights in Europe, meal and beverage services have been suspended. On long-haul flights, cabin service is limited and preference is given to individually wrapped products.
- Passengers screenings are conducted on flights to certain destinations in line with government guidance. For flights departing from Amsterdam to Canada, Singapore and South Korea, passengers are physically observed. Passengers flying to the last two destinations receive an additional temperature check.
In addition, the air in the cabin is renewed every 3 minutes. The air recycling system on board KLM aircraft is equipped with “High-Efficiency Particulate Air” or HEPA filters, identical to those used in hospital operating theatres. These filters extract more than 99.99% of the smallest viruses, including those no larger than 0.01 micrometres, thus ensuring that cabin air complies with quality standards. Coronavirus type viruses, ranging in size from 0.08 to 0.16 micrometres, are filtered through the HEPA filters.
In response to the current crisis and subsequent travel restrictions, since April 22, KLM offers its customers the opportunity to book with confidence. Date and destination changes up until June 30, 2021, are permitted free of charge.
Cork Airport and KLM remind passengers that the health and safety of their customers and staff is an absolute priority. Teams are fully mobilized to ensure the highest levels of health and safety for their customers and to ensure they travel in complete confidence.