The KLM Team - (L to R)Victoria Boariu, KLM Station Supervisor at YVR; Floris Sjer; Paul Connolly; Andrew Chandra, KLM Deputy Station Manager at YVR and Vincent Crabol, KLM Marketing Coordinator, West Canada
A lovely World Business Class meal with Dutch designer tableware and silverware was served to the group - photo courtesy of Pardeep Singh
Greg Panos of Omega Tours International testing out the lie-flat beds in business class
Ming with Soran Prasad of Goway in KL’s roomy economy class
KLM showcased its B777-200 aircraft to its agent and travel supplier partners at YVR this week. The small group of 15 were treated to an AMS and KLM update by Paul Connolly, KLM's Sales Account Executive West Canada and Floris Sjer, Market Manager West Canada along with a delicious World Business Class meal. Afterward we all hopped over to YVR to visit the Plaza Premium lounge and the aircraft itself.
Following KLM's tradition of naming their aircraft, the 777s are named after UNESCO world heritage sites. We boarded "Iguazu Falls" and had the run of the plane during its turnaround time(a BIG thank you for the groomers for putting up with us while they worked). We tested out the lie-flat seats in business class and the generous legroom in economy. The onboard interior says Dutch all over - from tableware to carpets and amenity kits, everything has been created by Dutch designers.
Greg Panos of Omega Tours International thoroughly enjoyed the visit and was especially interested in the lie-flat seats, as many of his customers expect that level of comfort during the long haul flight. Greg also spoke highly of his agency's relationship with KLM. His father immigrated to Canada from Greece on KLM, and has been supporting KLM since starting the family business 42 ago. The agency naturally services many Greek expats living in BC, and KLM offers great connections and superb service to ATH. Greg made a good point that ethnic travel is recession-proof and 'events'-proof. No matter what happens in the world, people still travel home to visit family and there will always be business available from this market segment.
Soran Prasad, BDM of Goway Travel also attended the event. Goway Travel is another strong partner of KLM as they have been working with the airline for over 20 years via groups, air and FIT packages. Soran was pleasantly surprised at the seat pitch in standard economy, offering more leg room than our Canadian carriers. Especially for long haul travel, KLM has hit the mark with these great seats.
Of course I have to bring cruising into the fold - and not many know this: KLM started AMS-SOU connecting service in mid-May, an excellent option for cruise pax embarking at the popular port, bypassing the hassles of busy LHR. For those who do not need to visit London before or after their cruise, this routing would work extremely well.
The B777 will be servicing the daily YVR-AMS route in the summer and will be replaced by the A330 for the winter season. KLM flights are also available from YYC and YEG.
The group of agents and supplier partners at YVR with our KLM hosts - photo courtesy of Pardeep Singh