KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Thalys has just launched their previously announced partnership that will see KLM buying seats aboard the Thalys high-speed train for transfer passengers travelling between Schiphol and Brussels.
This will allow KLM to operate one less flight between Amsterdam and Brussels every day. The aim of the venture is to increase the number of transfer passengers travelling by rail between Brussels and Schiphol. Almost all passengers on this route transfer to and from KLM flights at Schiphol.
This cooperative venture is an important first step in KLM’s implementation of the Dutch government’s Action Plan for Rail and Air Services (Actieagenda Trein en Luchtvaart). This action plan was jointly released at the end of 2020 by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in consultation with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, ProRail, KLM and NS Dutch Railways.
The new air-rail product is the first concrete result of the Action Plan for Rail and Air Services. We’re proud of this achievement. Together [with the partners] we’re striving to ensure a seamless customer journey, with better connections between rail and air travel.Boet Kreiken, Executive Vice President Customer Experience KLM
The plan stipulates actions and measures ensuring that international rail travel becomes a logical alternative supplementing airline service on routes shorter than 700 kilometres. For some time now, KLM has offered transfer passengers the option of boarding a Thalys high-speed train instead of a flight on the Brussels-Schiphol leg of their journey (or vice versa). Before the Covid-19 pandemic, 20 to 25% of these passengers (some 36,000 customers) chose this option. This trial is aimed at improving the customer experience.
Moreover, KLM is working with NS Dutch Railways and other European railway companies to explore the options of additional high-speed, comfortable rail services for transfer passengers to other destinations.
“The remarkable thing about the air-rail product being introduced today is that passengers will find it very similar to the air-to-air transfer experience to which they are accustomed. Passengers can, for instance, now check in for their full journey via KLM. Their boarding pass is valid for both the rail service and flight. Furthermore, KLM will be keeping passengers fully informed with travel updates. The air-rail service also offers passengers a more sustainable travel option”, says the airline.
The trial is set to continue until 29 October 2022, after which an in-depth evaluation will take place, with the partners assessing options for further developing the air-rail product.
The following rail services will feature the new KLM air-rail product:
- Brussels Airport – Amsterdam Schiphol
- Monday – Friday and Sunday: TH9357, departs: 16:52, arrives: 18:25
- Saturday: TH9351, departs: 15:52, arrives: 17:25
- Amsterdam Schiphol – Brussels Airport
- Monday – Friday and Sunday: TH9376, departs: 17:34, arrives 19:08
- Saturday: TH9382, departs 18:34, arrives 20:08