THE launch of an international flight route from Jersey to Amsterdam has demonstrated confidence in the Island ‘as an attractive destination’, according to the Economic Development Minister.
Deputy Kirsten Morel said there was an opportunity to attract more visitors from mainland Europe, after the first flight on easyJet’s new service from Jersey to Amsterdam took off at the weekend.
Announced last year, the airline’s new trial route to the Netherlands’ capital will operate up to twice a week throughout the summer and has been described by airport director Robin MacRae as a ‘major milestone’ for the Island’s connectivity.
Deputy Morel said: ‘This inaugural flight to Amsterdam demonstrates confidence in Jersey as an attractive destination and we now need to maximise this opportunity to attract visitors from mainland Europe to discover the delights of Jersey. Direct flights to Schiphol Airport also provide more travel options for Islanders, and as we expand our network of European transport connections we can facilitate new opportunities for Islanders, visitors and businesses.’
Mr MacRae said the route represented direct access for Islanders to ‘another global travel hub’.
‘Our Island enjoys really good links with the UK, but the great opportunity is to expand connectivity into Europe and we have been working hard to achieve this. The Amsterdam route will not only strengthen connections for Islanders, it will also expand the opportunities for continental visitors wishing to visit our Island.
‘Our five-year agreement with easyJet will also provide Jersey customers with a daily early departure to Gatwick, offering more travel options and a growing network of European transport connections which will improve resilience, expand choice for consumers and facilitate new opportunities for business.’
He added: ‘We are confident of further growth in 2023 and anticipate that our passenger numbers will rise to above pre-pandemic levels in 2024, giving Islanders access to the rest of the world and bringing benefits for our business and tourism sectors.’
Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK country manager, said the airline was ‘delighted’ to have launched its first flight on the new route.
‘We remain focused on offering great value and convenient connections for our customers and are pleased to have also reached a new milestone earlier this month by flying more than five million passengers to and from Jersey.’
Last week, Amsterdam launched a digital discouragement campaign warning rowdy British sex and drug tourists to ‘stay away’.
The initiative forms part of efforts to clean up the city’s raunchy reputation as Europe’s most liberal party capital.
Amsterdam welcomes about 20 million visitors annually – including one million British tourists – and has a population of 883,000.
For years residents have complained about drunken British men urinating in public, being sick in canals, stripping off and starting brawls.