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be disappointed that KLM’s rail-air link will mean that only one of the Brussels-Amsterdam feeder flights is being withdrawn.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