In a few weeks’ time KLM will return to Dublin after an absence of 50 years.
From October 30 the Dutch airline will be flying between Dublin and Amsterdam twice daily and it makes no secret of the fact that its schedules are designed for connectivity at Schiphol.
Now comes the news that the Skyteam member will double the number of flights on this route from the start of the summer schedules on March 26, 2017.
Clearly KLM must be confident otherwise it would not have announced a doubling of capacity before the route gets off the ground.
All flights will be operated by Embraer 190 aircraft which accommodate up to 100 passengers.
KLM says that the Dublin-Amsterdam schedule has been devised to compliment its long-haul network with connections to, for example, Johannesburg, Havana, Beijing and Hong Kong.
At the time of writing Oneworld member Aer Lingus will continue to ply the same route with a schedule which is more or less unchanged.
For the winter there will be up to five Aer Lingus flights daily and from Summer 2017 there will be four services daily.
Of course, nothing is set in stone as regards aviation, but that is the Aer Lingus schedule as it exists right now.
KLM will be aiming to attract many transfer passengers both to and from Dublin (via Amsterdam) whereas Aer Lingus is expected to cater more for the point-to-point market.
It is true that Aer Lingus has become a bigger player across the Atlantic and a number of mainland Europeans will choose to route via Dublin to North America. But the global Aer Lingus long-haul network is miniscule compared with that of its Dutch rival.
It’s also good news for Dublin airport whose second runway (construction of which has been approved) cannot come soon enough.
Says Vincent Harrison, the airport’s MD, “These additional flights will provide extra choice and convenience for both business and leisure passengers travelling to the Netherlands or connecting at KLM’s Schiphol hub.”