KLM returns on Monday

ORANJESTAD — The first KLM-flight to Aruba on Monday, February 1st, is fully booked, says the Minister of Tourism, Labor & Transport, Otmar Oduber (AVP).


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It is the first KLM-aircraft flying to Aruba since the airline company had decided to discontinue the regular service between Amsterdam and Aruba on March 29th, last year.

At the invitation of the airline company, Premier Mike Eman (AVP) will be flying from the Netherlands back to Aruba with the inaugural flight on Monday. Since the cabinet Eman had assumed office, there had been intensive contact between the government and KLM in order to induce them to include Aruba as destination again in their flight schedule. "We are extremely happy we succeeded in convincing KLM to resume their flights to Aruba," says Eman. Colleague-minister Otmar Oduber and I had spoken with KLM several times, in particular with general director Peter Hartman. These meetings had been exceptionally cordial."

Minister Oduber states that KLM’s presence is ‘very important’ for the European market. "Thirty percent of the people who had flown with KLM had come from elsewhere besides the Netherlands. In order to diversify the tourism market, it is important that we focus on the European market. This market is very interesting in view of the strong euro." The Minister is still negotiating with KLM to increase their number of flights. Martinair currently has six flights per week; ArkeFly 4, and KLM will start next Monday with two flights per week, on Monday and Thursday.

Until 2009, KLM had been a regular on Aruba. The company had flown to Aruba for seventy consecutive years. Eman: "Due to circumstances, they had decided to discontinue the flights to Aruba."
According to the Premier, the relation with KLM has been regenerated. "I find it hard to avoid the impression that the airline company had also considered it important to connect all parts of our Kingdom with one another."
The return of KLM is sooner than expected. KLM’s new flight schedule for the coming season only starts officially as of March.