One wonders why it has not happened already.
But from April 2019 there will be a direct high-speed rail link between the hubs of Air France and KLM, according to Dutch aviation website Luchtvaartnieuws.nl.
Thalys – an international rail service jointly owned by the French, Belgian and German rail companies – will operate a twice-daily high-speed service.
It will depart Amsterdam Centraal, call at Schiphol (the airport’s train station) and then continue via Rotterdam to Paris’ CDG (train station).
Schedules and fares will be announced at a later date but the journey time is not excessive. Thalys will run mainly over high-speed track.
The new service is long overdue and for the following reasons:
- It will directly connect the twin hubs of Air France and KLM.
- It will provide air passengers with a surface travel option should one airport be affected by bad weather or other reasons. This is especially important for those passengers making connections.
- It will free up runway space at Schiphol. Despite having so many runways Schiphol has become heavily congested.
Management at Schiphol wants more short-haul connecting travellers to take the train, rather than the plane, so as to reduce the number of short-haul flights.
Slot availability at busy times is now so critical that home airline KLM had to hand over one of its New York slots to low-cost Norwegian, reported dutchnews.nl. KLM had to comply with a ruling by the European Commission.
To make room for these new services the existing Thalys Amsterdam to Lille service will be withdrawn.