Airline passengers could benefit from a fares war on the Cork to Amsterdam route after KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced a new daily service from March 30.
The Dutch aviation giant will go head-to-head with Aer Lingus on the route to Schiphol airport from that date until the end of October.
It is the latest in the Air France-KLM group’s expansion in Munster, following the introduction of the Cork to Paris route in May 2018, which saw fares drop on that route and the market grow, with an increase in French nationals availing of the route inbound.
There are hopes the travelling public will see lower fares on the Amsterdam route too.
The new service will be operated by KLM subsidiary, KLM Cityhopper, using 88-seat Embraer 175 and 100-seat Embraer 190 aircraft, depending on the day of the week.
From March 30 to July 3 and from August 31 to October 24, the flights will depart Cork at 5.10pm, landing in Amsterdam at 8pm, from Monday to Sunday, with the 100-seat aircraft on the route Monday to Saturday, and the 88-seat aircraft operating on Sundays.
But during peak summer season, July 5 to August 30, the smaller aircraft will operate on the route, departing Cork at 1.20pm, landing in Amsterdam at 4.05pm, Monday to Friday and on Sundays, and then departing Cork on Saturdays at 5.35pm, landing in Amsterdam at 8.20pm.
It will offer outbound passengers connectivity to KLM’s network of 170 destinations worldwide.
But it is also expected to boost inbound visitor numbers too, with the announcement welcomed by Munster’s tourism, hospitality and conference sector.
Niall MacCarthy, the managing director of Cork Airport, said they were thrilled with the announcement.
“KLM is part of the Air France KLM group, both parts of which are expanding with us next year,” he said. “I firmly believe that more choice is always good for the travelling public. These new flights will connect directly into the KLM network in Amsterdam offering great prices and great long haul options direct from Cork Airport. We expect tourism and the business community throughout the South of Ireland will see the benefits of this new service.”
The 11th new route announcement out of Cork this year, it will add an additional 41,000 seats from Cork Airport, and ensure the airport’s growth trajectory continues for the fifth year in a row.
The airport is on target to reach 2.6m passengers this year, up 8% on 2018, and despite the uncertainties of Brexit, airport management is predicting more growth next year.