Amsterdam - New York, for 70 years with KLM
On 21 May 2016, KLM celebrated 70 years of flights between Amsterdam and New York. It all started in 1946, when KLM began operating flights to the US airport, which is today John F. Kennedy of New York (JFK).
After World War II, ending in 1945, KLM was the first airline to launch flights between Europe and the United States. Beginning at 21 May 1946, the route was honored with weekly 2 flights to New York, aboard a DC-4.
The inaugural flight had 44 passengers on board: journalists, KLM staff, politicians and a single New York businessman. The duration of the trip on the Amsterdam - New York route was over 25 hours, of which 21 was spent in flight. The route was very popular and from 1950 KLM operated daily flights.
In those years, civil aviation was constantly changing, as was the nature of the passengers. Larger and faster aircraft appeared, and airlines offered greater capacity for long-haul routes. Following the KLM history, the first DC-8 introduced into the fleet flew to New York. So does Boeing 747-200, the first widebody in the Dutch carrier fleet.
At 70 years after its debut, KLM and Delta Air Lines reached a total of 4 daily flights operated between Amsterdam and "New Amsterdam". Together, the 2 airlines carry over 750 000 passengers annually between the 2 destinations.
70 years of KLM flights to New York
For KLM, New York has become a top North Atlantic destination. Currently, KLM flies with Boeing 777-200ER aircraft, and the flight duration is approximately 8 hours.
The partnership between KLM and Delta Air Lines proved to be a real success and has been extended. From 5 to 2016, KLM operates flights to Salt Lake City, one of the 5 Delta Air Lines hubs. Through this hub, KLM offers its passengers direct connections to more than 50 of North American cities.