KLM Airlines to pick up Amsterdam-Miami route from Northwest
By Paola Iuspa
Through its partnership with Northwest Airlines, one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious carriers this month will begin nonstop daily flights from Miami International Airport to Amsterdam.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will take over on Sept. 16 the international passenger-cargo route that Northwest discontinues on Sept. 15, said Chris Mangos, airport manager of cargo.
"The airport will be adding a new European airline," he said.
Mr. Mangos said about nine European passenger and cargo carriers now fly from Miami International compared to 23 from Central and South America.
Transatlantic cargo is carried in the bellies of more than 80 weekly passenger aircraft leaving for Europe or on the main-deck of B747 freighters on Amsterdam, Milan, Frankfurt and Paris routes, according to the airport.
David Dundas, regional director of sales for the mid- & southern US, said his group will replace Northwest's DC-10 for the newer model MD-11, capable of transporting 18 tons of cargo.
KLM has been offering direct flights to Amsterdam, the airline's hub, from New York, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Memphis for decades. Airline officials said a growing demand for transatlantic transportation of general and special cargo drove them to start service from Miami.
While reaching about 250 destinations around the world, passengers arriving at Amsterdam's airport can make KLM connections to other countries in Europe, and the Middle East and Far East regions, he said.
Mr. Mangos said KLM, known for its professional cargo handling, will be the only carrier at Miami International bound to Amsterdam that will transport cargo and passengers on the same plane.
Henry Schulkin, president of Market Information Analyses Inc. in Miami Beach, said exports through Miami International to Europe in 2001 had a dollar value of about $2.1 billion and $89 million went to the Netherlands. About $60 million of that, Mr. Schulkin said, was high-tech and medical equipment, computer and peripherals, and aircraft and spacecraft parts.