McCarran International Airport has landed KLM Royal Dutch Airlines for seasonal three-times-weekly nonstop air service between Las Vegas and Amsterdam beginning in June.
Amstelveen-based KLM, the flagship airline of the Netherlands, initially will fly 294-passenger twin-engine Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets Fridays and Sundays on the route starting June 6, adding a third flight on Tuesdays beginning July 2.
The new service will be operated June through October.
The wide-bodied jet will offer 30 World Business Class seats, 45 in Economy Comfort Class and 219 in Economy Class.
Las Vegas will become KLM’s 18th direct destination in North America.
“Including Las Vegas as KLM’s latest destination will offer our customers even more flight connections to and from the West Coast of America,” said Pieter Elbers, KLM’s president and CEO.
The new flights were scheduled to be announced Friday.
Flights from Amsterdam will arrive at 2:15 p.m., following a 12:30 p.m., departure. Return flights will leave Las Vegas at 4:05 p.m., arriving in Amsterdam just after 11 a.m., the next day.
Amsterdam Airport Shiphol is KLM’s home airport hub from which the airline flies routes to 133 international destinations in 66 countries.
KLM, part of the Air France-KLM group, is a member of the 20-airline SkyTeam alliance and is a joint-venture partner with Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines. With KLM and Delta as the lead, Southern Nevadans now have international access on two of the three airline network alliances. British Airways is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance.
Chris Jones, chief marketing officer at McCarran International Airport, said the relationship with KLM began in 2013 and concluded with the new service announcement after the World Routes aviation conference in Guangzhou, China, this week.
“When we (Las Vegas) hosted World Routes in 2013, we had some really productive meetings with KLM at that time,” Jones said.
He said a high-ranking KLM executive saw a different side of Las Vegas during the 2013 event.
“He was surprised when he came downstairs to get his coffee, walking around in the hotel and seeing so many people with (convention) badges on and dressed up in suits and going to meetings,” Jones said.
“I think hosting that event was eye-opening for him to get an understanding of what Las Vegas had become,” he said. “It wasn’t people in shorts going to the pool and people at the casino playing slot machines at 4 o’clock in the morning. It had become something more, especially for a network carrier that wants to fill the front of the plane with people paying for business seats or high-end leisure seats. That really kicked in the door.”
Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said McCarran and the LVCVA sealed the deal with KLM in Guangzhou.
“KLM is one of the top airlines in the world,” Hill said Thursday.
“Having them come to McCarran and Las Vegas is a great thing and groundbreaking,” Hill said. “The connection in Amsterdam, we think, is a fabulous opportunity. Their network is really extensive so I think the reach from this flight will really make a difference in Las Vegas.”
A previous version of this story incorrectly reported how long KLM Royal Dutch Airline’s nonstop service between Las Vegas and Amsterdam would be in place. The airline will provide seasonal service between June and October.
Nonstop from McCarran
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines becomes the eighth European air carrier to fly nonstop routes from Europe, and Amsterdam becomes the 12th European nonstop destination from McCarran International Airport. The others:
-Cologne, Germany (Eurowings)
-Copenhagen, Denmark (seasonal, Norwegian Air Shuttle)
-Frankfurt, Germany (Condor)
-Glasgow, Scotland (Thomas Cook)
-London-Gatwick (British Airways, Virgin Atlantic)
-London-Heathrow (British Airways)
-Manchester, England (Thomas Cook, Virgin Atlantic)
-Munich, Germany (Eurowings)
-Oslo, Norway (seasonal, Norwegian Air Shuttle)
-Stockholm, Sweden (seasonal, Norwegian Air Shuttle)
-Zurich, Switzerland (Edelweiss)