The Netherlands from London City Airport in 2009
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 11 December 2008 - Today CityJet and VLM Airlines, both part of the AIR FRANCE KLM group, are announcing their plans for the Dutch market in 2009. Starting 5 January, the product offering for the Dutch market will be optimized.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Starting 5 January, all flights from Amsterdam to London City Airport - previously operated by VLM Airlines and KLM Cityhopper - will be operated by CityJet to optimize service to customers: CityJet will operate its flights using jet aircraft of the AVRO RJ-85 type, furnished with brand-new interiors in a 95-seat layout, both business class and economy class will be offered onboard. CityJet will provide eight return flights from Monday through Friday, one on Saturdays and four on Sundays. The flights from Amsterdam to London City will be operated as a VLM and KLM code share and will continue to be sold through the VLM and KLM website and sales channels.
Starting 5 January, VLM Airlines, will offer 8 return flights from Rotterdam to London City. One more aircraft will be stationed at Rotterdam Airport for charter flights. VLM Airlines' charter division, which offers specialised service, has grown successfully in 2008.
VLM Airlines, replacing CityJet, will also operate two flights daily between Eindhoven Airport and London starting 12 January 2009.
Both regional business airlines will be working very closely together to offer the high level of quality customers are accustomed to. The onboard complimentary service will remain and studies have been launched to see if a business class should be added on all routes, like it is currently the case on the Amsterdam - London City route. Of course, the professionalism and friendliness of the cabin crew will remain one of the main assets of both airlines. Bram Gr|ber, Senior Vice President Area Manager Benelux of Air France - KLM comments, "With both airlines having won major awards in 2008, frequent business passengers will receive the excellent service they are accustomed to throughout our joint network".
Existing sales channels remain unchanged with online bookings for flights throughout the CityJet / VLM Airlines network possible via both websites www.flyvlm.com and www.cityjet.com, a combined website is being prepared and will be ready by the end of the year. VLM Airlines is also examining becoming a member of Flying Blue, the frequent flyer programme of Air France | KLM. This will offer an extra advantage to the regular business customers in the Netherlands, who are very often already a member of this loyalty programme via KLM. The transition from the VLM Encore programme to the Flying Blue program will be defined in the coming months. - Johan Vanneste, Managing Director of VLM Airlines comments: "we are very pleased to see that the take-over of our company has a positive effect for our customers. The AVRO RJ-85 aircraft on the Amsterdam - London City route will offer superior comfort to our passengers, whilst the Flying Blue frequent flyer programme will offer all our customers a loyalty program with excellent reward possibilities."
Geoffrey O'Byrne-White, CEO of CityJet said: "This is a very important development for us. The Amsterdam - London City route is already firmly established with a schedule and service much appreciated by a discerning clientele. We look forward to continuing to meet the demands of this market, even in such a challenging environment."