THE change in location did not stop people from buying fresh tulips from the Netherlands at the KLM Charity Tulip Sale at KL International Airport.
In the past, the event was held at a shopping complex in the city and always attracted a big crowd.
This year was no different as hundreds of people had already queued up before the sale started at 10am to buy some of the 8,000 tulips that came in a variety of colours for RM6 each.
Due to overwhelming response, halfway through the sale, each buyer was limited to three stalks to ensure everyone went home with flowers.
This is the 17th year that the Dutch airline, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, has brought in the country’s iconic flower for sale here.
KLM country manager Estee Ng said the event also commemorated the airline’s centennial anniversary.
“The last sale was in 2014. We did not manage to bring in the flowers for the last four years for various reasons but we are glad to have been able to do it this time.
“We always do it before Mothers Day. Usually, we bring in 3,500 stalks but this time we decided on 5,000 and later increased it to 8,000.
“I am grateful for the support from our partners Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) and Sama-Sama Hotel, which bought 1,000 and 400 tulips each, to give to their passengers and guests, respectively, for Mothers Day,” she said.
Ng added that all proceeds from the sale will be channelled to Hospis Malaysia.
Netherlands ambassador Karin Mossenlechner said the country produces two billion tulips annually and 90% of them are exported.
“It blooms in spring, from March until May. I hope Malaysians will love the tulips as much as we do,” she said.
MAHB group chief executive officer Raja Azmi Raja Nazuddin said it always
supports airline partners in branding and creating awareness at airports.
“KLM is a foreign airline which has been operating in Malaysia for a long time,” he said.
Also present were Sama-Sama hotel general manager Sundra Kulendra and Hospis Malaysia council member Dr Chong Su Lin.
Charyn Sarah Sinniah and her husband, M. Ravi, from Bandar Kinrara were seen buying bags of flowers.
“I bought 180 stalks in total. I am buying for friends and to give to our mothers. I am also buying extra to distribute to mothers attending church.
“Tulips are unique, colourful and beautiful flowers which are rare in Malaysia,” she said.