KLM Finally Launches Partnership With Thalys


Publish Date:

Modified Date:



- Advertisement -

KLM and Thalys have finally come around to launching their joint Air&Rail partnership between Amsterdam and Brussels.

Back in 2019 KLM teamed up with NS Dutch Railways and French-Belgian high-speed train operator Thalys to replace flights between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) and Brussels.

Despite being an airline, KLM is a big proponent of replacing short-haul flights with trains, providing the rail service matches the speed and comfort offered by air travel.

Although this is not the first time KLM has dabbled with rail travel, more recently as January 2022, the carrier launched a partnership getting passengers from Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam Centraal.

Why Is KLM Moving Flights To Trains

The Brussels to Schiphol route is primarily used by Belgium’s looking to catch an international flight out of the much bigger Schiphol Airport. In the original press release from the Dutch flag carrier, then KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers said:

Intermodal transport involving trains and planes remains a complex and challenging business. Speed is key, not only in terms of the train itself, but also in the transfer process at the airport. We aim to make maximum progress in both areas. Reducing our frequency from five to four flights a day is a good way of gaining more experience with Air&Rail services.

Next to that, the real reason is likely that KLM is faced with slot restrictions at Schiphol. By replacing short-haul flights with rail services, scarce slots can be used for services to long-haul destinations.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is unique in that it has its own intercity train stain directly underneath the main terminal. The airport train station is also a stop on the high-speed Thalys Paris-Brussels-Amsterdam line. Boarding the train at Brussels Midi Station, you arrive at Schiphol Airport in one hour and 33 minutes.

KLM operates an E190 single-aisle regional jet between Brussels and Amsterdam with a flight time of just 45 minutes without factoring check-in and security timings.

However, more recently KLM had already been offering transfer passengers the option of boarding a Thalys train instead of a flight on the Brussels-Schiphol leg of their journey for several years. Around 20 to 25 percent of passengers chose the rail option before the pandemic.

Challenges Getting KLM Air+Rail Off The Ground

In March 2022, KLM released its second press release in which it stated what its requirements were and what it planned to do.

While some action points were ready, others were not. One point sticks out though, “Airline and railway IT systems must be able to communicate with each other” – one which required a workaround. KLM stated that “the seats KLM purchases on Thalys trains are entered manually into KLM’s IT system”

However, it seems that the partnership has elected to bring in the help of AccesRail – and in the future is set to go between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol.

StationTravel time between stationsTotal travel time from Paris Charles de GaulleTotal travel time from Brussel Midi
Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)3:26 0:00 
Brussels Midi (ZYR)1:151:150:00
Antwerp Central (ZWE)0:542:090:54
Rotterdam (QRH)0:352:441:29
Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS0:233:071:52
Amsterdam Central (ZYA)0:193:262:01

The Train Times?

The following rail services will feature the new KLM air&rail product:

- Advertisement -

-It will be offered on the following train services:

Brussels – Amsterdam

  • TH9357, daily except Saturdays, departs: 16:52, and arrives: 18:25
  • TH9351 on Saturdays, departs: 15:52, and arrives: 17:25

Amsterdam – Brussels

  • TH9376 daily except Saturdays – departs: 17:34, and arrives 19:08
  • TH9382 on Saturdays departs 18:34, and arrives 20:08

These are all local times (CET).

The trial is set to continue until 29 October 2022, after which an in-depth evaluation will take place to see how to develop the product further – so nothing is set in stone.

Air&Rail Or Accesrail?

From a consumer end, you effectively purchase a combined ticket under the same ticket number directly through KLM’s channels, although the service is offered under AccesRail’s terms and conditions of travel and operated by a partner rail operator, which varies by country.

Agreements between airlines and railways are common but rarely talked about.

I’ve previously discussed how to make use of AccesRail in a previous article which went into how many of the world’s major carriers make use of the system including the likes of Lufthansa’s relationship with Deutsche Bahn, Delta’s Air+Rail combination, Emirates and British Airways.

The good news is that if there are any delays with AccesRail, your flight or train ticket is covered.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisment -

Air Asia X Quite Zone: An Overview

When it comes to air travel, the devil is in the details. The Quiet Zone offered by Air Asia X promises a peaceful journey,...

Exploring Delta VIP Select

Travelling on Points is the brainchild of a person who loves to travel and reap the benefits of doing so. Dan enjoys sharing the knowledge of travel as he believes that the more people travel the less narrow-minded, and more tolerant, people will be of each other.

Article Comments


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Popular Catagories