The Netherlands’ national airline KLM has now started a rail-air link with operator Thalys.

It makes KLM probably the last of Europe’s major national airlines to adopt rail-air.

We reported on this development last March.

KLM finally embraces rail-air

Initially KLM/Thalys rail-air will operate between Brussels and Schiphol with KLM blocking space on several Thalys HS (high-speed) trains).

KLM passengers will be able to check-in for their ex-Schiphol flight at Brussels Midi.

See the official statement for details of those Thalys trains which are featured.

Says Boet Kreiken, executive VP customer service at KLM, “The new air-rail product is the first concrete result of the Action Plan for Rail and Air services.

“Together with other bodies we’re striving to ensure a seamless customer journey with better rail and air connections.”

However it must be stressed that this arrangement will remain a trial until October 29 after which time it will be reviewed.

Brussels has few long distance routes and so travellers tend to fly long-haul from either Amsterdam Schiphol or Paris CDG.

Air France has for a number of years operated a rail-air link to Paris CDG using HS trains.

Environmentalists will be disappointed that KLM’s rail-air link will mean that only one of the Brussels-Amsterdam feeder flights is being withdrawn.

That is because KLM does not want to upset its corporate users working for the many Brussels-based multi-national firms who are located nearer (Brussels) airport than the Belgian capital’s downtown rail station.

The Brussels-Amsterdam flight sector is around 100 miles hence Netherlands’ government has been pressing KLM for years to axe its air service.