SINT MAARTEN/THE NETHERLANDS – Last year 277,000 people took the short flight between Brussels airport Zaventem and Amsterdam with Dutch flag carrier KLM, the Volkskrant said on Thursday.
KLM is the only airline which operates as regular service between the two cities, offering five 45-minute flights a day. The main reason is the Schiphol destination network and most people using the route are on a transfer flight, KLM told the paper.
Zaventem flies to 90 different destinations while Schiphol has over 300. In March Dutch MPs voted in favour of a plan to scrap flights between the two capitals, freeing up space for more ‘useful’ flights.
Transport minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen said at the time that she could not force a private company to give up destinations. This summer, the paper points out, the airline launched a campaign to encourage people to ‘fly responsibly’ and to see the train as a good alternative to short haul flights.
Some 20% of Belgians with a KLM ticket take the train to Schiphol, the paper said.