This morning (April 4) at 7:57am the first non-stop KLM flight between Amsterdam and Fukuoka touched down at Fukuoka Airport. Dignitaries from The Netherlands, executives from KLM, and Miffy characters joined a special ceremony hosted by local officials. A press conference followed. The three flights a week service between Fukuoka and Amsterdam departs from Amsterdam at 14:40 on Wed., Fri., and Sun. and arrives in Fukuoka at 08:20 the following day. Departures from Fukuoka are on Mon., Thu., and Sat. at 10:20, arriving in Amsterdam at 15:05 the same day. Boeing 777-200ER with seating capacity of 318 (283 economy and 35 business) are used for the 11 hour flight. This is the only direct connection by air to Europe from Kyushu.
Photos: Fukuoka Now
KLM officials expect 80,000 passengers per year based on a targeted 80% passenger load. 60% are expected to be outbound passengers from Japan and the remaining 40% from Europe. Travel agencies in Europe have already expressed strong interest in this route which will be the first to introduce the developing tourist destination of Kyushu with it’s recently opened shinkansen (bullet train). Meanwhile, KLM’s flight arrives at 3pm in Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport offering tourists and business persons over 70 same day onward connections to Europe and destinations beyond. Airfares for this non-stop service are said to be very competitive, even compared to less convenient indirect flights. The airline also recently released a promotional video showcasing the attractions of Fukuoka and Kyushu. Link: http://www.iflymagazine.com/?locale=ot_en#/high/fukuoka/ Congratulations KLM!