KLM's first flight to Australia in 20 years to repatriate stranded Dutch

A KLM plane at an icy Schiphol Airport, 12 Feb 2018
A KLM plane at an icy Schiphol Airport, 12 Feb 2018Photo: Zachary Newmark / NL Times

In the coming days, KLM will pick up nearly 2 thousand travelers stranded in Australia, Bali and New Zealand with its first flights to Australia in decades. "It has been 20 years since we landed at Sydney Airport," the Dutch airline said on Twitter. These repatriation flights are happening in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The first flight departed from Amsterdam to Australia on Thursday evening. The flight will take around 23 hours. It is expected to land again at Schiphol on Monday. In the coming days, there will be at least five more flights, according to NU.nl. 

KLM stopped flying to Australia when it started a partnership with Malaysia Airlines. That partnership allowed more flights to Kuala Lumpur, with stops in Australia and New Zealand. 

In addition to the six flights to Australia, KLM will also fly four planes to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. There KLM will pick up Dutch who flew with Malaysia Airlines from Australia and New Zealand.