100 years of KLM / Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij (KLM) celebrated the centenary

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On 7 October 2019, KLM celebrated 100 years since its inception. It is the first airline in the world to celebrate the centenary, flying under the name of the foundation. KLM is the oldest airline in the world, which is still flying today!

KLM was founded in 1919 by Albert Plesman and operated the first flight on 17 May 1920, from Croydon, London to Amsterdam, aboard the aircraft with two British journalists and a letter from the Mayor of London to his counterpart in Amsterdam.

KLM debuted on the London - Amsterdam route on May 17, 1920. The first KLM pilot, Jerry Shaw, flew from London to Schiphol on a De Havilland DH-16.

100 years of KLM

The first KLM intercontinental flight took off on October 1, 1924, on the route Amsterdam - Jakarta. The trip lasted 55 days and had 21 stops. In the following years, intercontinental service was expanded.

In 1930, flights to Curacao were operated, and in 1946 KLM was the first airline to connect mainland Europe and America, via the transatlantic flights Amsterdam - New York. The first Bucharest - Amsterdam flight was operated 54 years ago, on 31 March 1965.

At 100 for years, KLM prides itself on a fleet of 214 aircraft, flying to 162 from destinations around the world. In 2018 the company has transported over 34 millions of passengers, and its operations are conducted by over 33.000 employees worldwide.

The important moments in KLM history

  The important moments in KLM history  

September 12, 1919

Regina Wilhelmina gave her the name of "Royal" for the fresh company KLM


October 7, 1919

The company KLM - Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij officially appears.


October 21, 1919

The first KLM office was opened at Heerengracht, The Hague.


May 17, 1920

The first KLM pilot, Jerry Shaw, flew from London to Schiphol with a De Havilland DH-16-type aircraft.


April 4, 1921

After a break in the winter season, KLM resumed flights with its own pilots and planes: Fokker F-II and F-III.


May 9, 1921

KLM opened its first passenger office in Leidseplein, Amsterdam.


October 1, 1924

KLM initiated the first intercontinental flight on the route Amsterdam - Batavia (Colonial Jakarta) with Fokker F-VII.


Sep, 1929

KLM started regular service between Amsterdam and Batavia. Until the start of World War II, this was the longest route in the world.


Dec 1933

KLM transported Christmas and New Year postcards in record time on the Amsterdam - Batavia route. The flight lasted 4 days with a Fokker F-XVIII Pelikaan. The postcards arrived at Christmas time.


October 1934

Douglas DC-2 Uiver operated a passenger and cargo flight from London to Melbourne.


Dec 1934

KLM operated the first transatlantic flight on the Amsterdam - Curacao route with a Fokker F-XVIII Snip.


Sep 1945

KLM resumed its work after World War II, beginning with domestic flights.


May 21, 1946

KLM started the regular service on the route Amsterdam - New York, using a Douglas DC-4 Rotterdam aircraft.


November 1, 1958

KLM opened the Amsterdam-Tokyo route, a service operated over the North Pole. The flights were operated with Douglas DC-7 Caraïbische Zee.


March 1960th

The "JET" era at KLM debuted with Douglas DC-8.


September 12, 1966

NLM ("Netherlands Airlines") was founded. It was later renamed NLM Cityhopper.


April 1967

The Schiphol Center came into service


February 1971

The "widebody" era at KLM debuted with the first Boeing 747-206B.


March 1, 1971

KLM opened its headquarters in Amstelveen, south of Amsterdam.


November 1975

KLM has added Boeing 747-306B Combi to the fleet, an important service for KLM cargo.


March 1988th

KLM has taken over the European Command Service of the Netherlands.


June 1989

KLM introduces Boeing 747-400, the most advanced 747 of those times.


July 1989

KLM has taken over 20% of the American carrier Northwest Airlines, an important step towards creating a global network.


April 1, 1991

KLM merged NLM Cityhopper with NetherLines and gave birth to KLM cityhopper.


October 1991

KLM increases its participation in the Transavia charter carrier from 40% to 80%.


Dec 1991

KLM launches Flying Dutchman, the first European airline to launch a loyalty program


January 1993

With the agreement of the US Department of Transportation, KLM and Northwest Airlines are stepping up their partnership.


Sep 1993

KLM and Northwest Airlines began operating all flights between the US and Europe as part of a joint venture.


November 1993

For the first time in its history, KLM carried 10 millions of passengers in one year.


March 1994th

KLM and Northwest Airlines introduced the World Business Class, a new product on intercontinental flights.


July 1995

KLM has introduced the Boeing 767-300ER into operational service


January 1996

KLM buys 26% from Kenya Airways.


January 1998

KLM and Malaysian Airlines Systems announce commercial cooperation investigation.


February 1998

The KLM-Northwest Airlines alliance received the title of "Airline of the Year" from the American magazine Air Transport World.


November 1, 1999

KLM founded AirCares, a communication and fundraising platform for noble causes, focusing on underprivileged children around the world.


Dec 1999

KLM was the first airline in the world to obtain ISO 14001 certification.


Spring 2002

KLM has announced the first phase of an intercontinental fleet renewal program - 3 x Boeing 747-400ER and 8 x Boeing 777-200ER to replace Boeing 747-300; 2 x Boeing 777-200ER to replace 2 x MD-11.

KLM sent an order to Airbus for 6 x A330-200. At the end of the program, the KLM intercontinental fleet consisted of Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200ER and Airbus A330-200.


October 25, 2003

The first Boeing 777-200ER KLM landed in Schiphol. The aircraft will fly to Cape Town, Nairobi and New York.


May 5, 2004

The Air France Group - KLM is born. The idea of ​​unity between the two companies was born in September 2.


Sep 2004

KLM, Northwest and Continental joined SkyTeam, the international airline alliance that included Air France, Delta Air Lines, Alitalia, Korean Air, CSA Czech Airlines and Aeromexico.


June 2005

AIR FRANCE - KLM introduces the "Flying Blue" loyalty program.


Aug 25, 2005

Airbus delivers the first Airbus A330 KLM


Dec 2006

KLM introduces kiosks where passengers could print their own boarding passes.


March 30, 2008

The Open Skies Agreement allows free flights between Europe and the United States.


May 23, 2008

The U.S. Department of Transportation guarantees antitrust immunity to KLM, Air France, Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines. They can take better advantage of the Open Skies agreement and better optimize their transatlantic flights.


Dec 31, 2008

KLM takes ONLY Martinair.


January 31, 2017

Air France-KLM takes over 25% from Alitalia.


Oct 7, 2009

KLM celebrates 90 years since its inception


Mar 30, 2010

The last Fokker 50 KLM has been retired. KLM takes 'goodbye' from turboprop aircraft.  

April 14, 2010

KLM introduces new uniforms by Mart Visser.  

November 2011

The Crown's logo celebrates 50 for years. It was created by the British F. Henrion.  

Jun 30, 2011

The first biofuel flight to Paris.  

Sep 2011

The last Fokker 100 was withdrawn from the KLM fleet  

March 8, 2013

First intercontinental biofuel flight to New York.  

March 20, 2013

Presentation of the new World Business Class interior designed by Hella Jongerius. The new completely flat passenger seat for Wordl Business Class is also unveiled.  

May 29, 2013

The first test flight of Wi-Fi internet on board.  

April 30, 2014

KLM Cityhopper receives the first Embraer E190, which is painted in the new KLM livery  

November 11, 2014

KLM operates 3 special flights with MD-11 in the Netherlands.  

November 14, 2015

KLM receives the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. All Dreamliner KLM aircraft will have flower names. The first was named "Anjer" (Carnation).  

May 21, 2016

KLM celebrates 70 years of flights to New York.  

September 12, 2016

KLM Cityhopper celebrates 50 since its founding.  

October 29, 2017

The last Fokker 70 on the last commercial flight.  

Aug 23, 2017

The 10 Boeing 787-9 KLM (Margareta) was delivered  
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