THOUSANDS of passengers from across five continents have reserved seats on the new KLM route connecting Liverpool with the rest of the world.
The airline said it had taken bookings from China, Malaysia and the Philippines in Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia in Africa, the USA, Mexico and Uruguay in the Americas and a further 18 European countries to visit the city.
KLM launches its three-times-daily flight from Liverpool John Lennon airport to its Amsterdam hub at Schiphol on March 29.
It will then feed into 650 other routes on KLM’s Skyteam network.
The route needs to hit 70% capacity to make a profit and KLM head of leisure and direct sales for the UK and Ireland Simon Spinks said they were on target to achieve it within two months.
At its launch at Liverpool town hall last night Mr Spinks said: “We will definitely hit our targets for load factor in two months.
“We already know that and that is a strong performance. About 70% will be profitable for us and Liverpool.”
Some 60% of bookings are out of Liverpool and 30% of those passengers will fly on to other destinations.
Mr Spinks said that proportion was expected to increase, adding: “We are in the process of educating the public of Liverpool on the value of the hub. The business market will come later.”
Chair of inward investment agency at The Mersey Partnership, Rod Holmes, said: “The new link could be one of the most significant developments in the History
of Liverpool airport.”
Neil Pakey, deputy chief executive of JLA owner, Peel Airports, said: “Until now, for many Liverpool as a destination did not exist on the worldwide airline route network.
“These latest statistics clearly show this is no longer the case.”
Christine Ourmières, general manager for Air France KLM UK and Ireland, added: “ I am convinced this route will be a success. THE ECHO