Netherlands-based KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has launched a direct flight service between Fukuoka and Amsterdam on April 4, 2013. With this new venture, the airline has become the first company to regularly connect the city with Europe.
The Boeing 777 jet which is part of KLM carried about 300 passengers and landed in Fukuoka airport at around 8 am. On its arrival, fire trucks on a taxiway sprayed an arch of water to welcome the aircraft. Hiroshi Ogawa, the Fukuoka Gov., Soichiro Takashima the Fukuoka Mayor and other officials from the city appreciated the flight’s arrival at a welcoming ceremony.
The airline said that the 12-hour long flight will fly every week from Fukuoka on Mondays, Saturdays and Thursdays. The flights from Amsterdam will leave on Wednesdays, Sundays and Fridays. Pieter Elbers, the KLM managing director, at a press conference said that he hopes that the carrier will draw more visitors from Kyushu to Europe through Amsterdam, as Kyushu has a new bullet train network.
The headquarters of KLM is at Amstelveen near its hub at Amsterdam airport Schipol. The airline also operates worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 90 destinations. KLM is considered to be the oldest airline in the world, which is still operating under its original name.