KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (Dutch: Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij, literally Royal Aviation Company; usual English translation: Royal Dutch Airlines) is the national airline of the Netherlands and is part of Air France-KLM. Based in Amstelveen, the Netherlands. It operates domestic and worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 90 destinations. Its main base is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. KLM is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name. It has 30,118 employees (as of March 2007).
The merging of KLM with Air France in May 2004 created Air France-KLM. Air France-KLM is incorporated under French law with headquarters at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport near Paris, France. Both Air France and KLM continue to fly under their distinct brand names.
KLM was founded on October 7, 1919, making it the oldest carrier in the world still operating under its original name, though the company stopped operating during the Second World War - apart from the operations in the Dutch Antilles in the Caribbean. The first KLM flight was on May 17, 1920, from London Croydon to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport carrying two British journalists and a number of newspapers. It was flown by an Aircraft Transport and Travel Airco DH.16, callsign G-EALU, piloted by Jerry Shaw. In 1920 KLM carried 440 passengers and 22 tons of freight. In 1921 KLM started scheduled services. By 1926 it was offering flights to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, Paris, London, Bremen, Copenhagen, and Malmo; using primarily Fokker F2 & Fokker F.III.
Intercontinental service to the Netherlands East Indies (today's Republic of Indonesia) started in 1929 using Fokker F.VIIb, although the first non-scheduled KLM flight had been in 1924 by Fokker F7 registration H-NACC piloted by van der Hoop. In 1930 KLM carried 15,143 passengers. The first transatlantic KLM route was between Amsterdam and Curaçao in December 1934 using the Fokker F-XVIII "Snip." In the 1940s the KLM was the only civilian airline operating the Douglas DC-5.
On May 21, 1946, KLM was the first continental European airline to launch scheduled service to New York. In 1950 KLM carried 356,069 passengers. On 25 July 1957, the airline introduced its first flight simulator for the Douglas DC-7C - the last KLM aircraft with piston engines - which opened the first trans-polar route from Amsterdam to Tokyo on November 1, 1958.
In March 1960, KLM introduced the first Douglas DC-8 jet into its fleet. In 1966, KLM introduced the Douglas DC-9 on European and Middle East routes. The new terminal buildings at Schiphol Airport opened in April 1967 and in 1968, the Douglas DC-8-63 entered service. With 244 seats it was the largest airliner of the time. KLM was the first airline to put the higher gross-weight Boeing 747-200B into service in February 1971 with Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines, beginning the era of widebody jets.
In 1980, KLM carried 9,715,069 passengers. In 1983, it reached agreement with Boeing to convert some of its Boeing 747-200s to stretched upper deck configuration. The work started in 1984 at the Boeing factory in Everett, Washington and finished in 1986. The converted aircraft were called Boeing 747-200SUD, which the airline operated in addition to Boeing 747-300s. In June 1989, KLM introduced the Boeing 747-400. Later that year, in July, KLM acquired 20 per cent of Northwest Airlines, starting an alliance between the two airlines. In 1990, KLM carried 16,000,000 passengers. In March 1994, KLM and Northwest Airlines introduced World Business Class on intercontinental routes, and in July 1995, KLM introduced its Boeing 767-300ER.
In March and June 2002, KLM announced it would renew its intercontinental fleets by replacing the Boeing 767s, Boeing 747-300s, and eventually the McDonnell Douglas MD-11 with Boeing 777-200ERs and Airbus A330-200s. Some 747s will be first to retire. The MD-11s will remain in service until 2014/2015. The first Boeing 777 was received on October 25, 2003, entering commercial service on the Amsterdam-Toronto route, while the first Airbus A330-200 was introduced on August 25, 2005 and entered commercial service on the Amsterdam-Washington Dulles route.
KLM is listed on the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, New York and Paris.
On 30 September 2003, Air France and KLM announced that they would in future be known as Air France-KLM. This entity was offered on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange on 5 May 2004. The takeover by Air France marked the end of the oldest independent airline in the world. The Royal adjective will remain. Its independent identity is guaranteed to 2008, but its operations may be merged with those of the French company. In the meantime, it does not appear that KLM's longstanding joint venture with Northwest Airlines will be affected. Both KLM and Northwest joined the SkyTeam alliance in September 2004.
Initially, these houses, ranging in size from 5 to 11 cm. (about 2 to 4 inches) were filled with Rynbende jenever (a Dutch liquor and precursor to gin made from juniper berries); once Rynbende (Simon Rynbende & Sons) was acquired by Henkes, the houses were filled with Henkes jenever, and when that company was acquired by Bols, they became filled with Bols jenever.
The impetus for these houses was a rule aimed at curtailing a previously-widespread practice of offering significant incentives to passengers by limiting the value of gifts given by airlines to 75 US cents; however, no limit was placed on the provisions of duty-free liquor, so KLM was able to provide this more-valuable gift, camouflaged as liquor. Prior to giving out these Delft-blue liquor-filled houses, KLM gave Delft-blue tiles as gifts, but these tiles broke the 75 cent limits.
There are 88 different houses as of 2008, with an additional house added every year on the 7th of October; this being the anniversary of KLM's founding (KLM, the world's oldest commercial airline, being 88 years old in 2008), each numbered and representing the number of years KLM has been in operation. Each year, a new house receives the next sequential number. All houses are reproductions of historic houses in the Netherlands or its overseas dependencies, although the specific location of every archetype of some of the first ten huisjes was not recorded.
In addition to the 88 standard houses, sealed and filled with jenever (with numerous variations on the wording on the bottom or back of the houses in different manufacturing batches and with different jenever manufacturer names), there are variants that are not filled with gin, which are distributed to passengers on certain long-haul flights to Islamic countries who forbid import or export of liquor. In 2006 when, in response to terrorist activities, liquids were banned or restricted on various flights, KLM's trans-Atlantic flights to the United States briefly also offered the same liquor-free huisjes. Until the early 1980s, the houses distributed on those routes were packaged as "ashtrays" with an open chimney and a semi-circular hole cut into the rear of the house, ostensibly for a cigarette.
Additional, larger, special Delftware have periodically been offered to VIPs and honeymoon couples; for most of the 1980s and 1990s, this was a model of the Royal Palace; since 2003, this was the "Waag." These are particularly prized by collectors and at auctions they are often valued at about $1000.
KLM is the only carrier on 61 of the routes it operates, representing 45% of its ASKs from the airport. On around 14% of flights (10 routes) it faces competition from two other airlines. Seven of these routes are within Europe (Copenhagen, London Heathrow, Milan Malpensa, Oslo, Prague, Stockholm Arlanda and Vienna) the other three being Aruba, Toronto and Tripoli. The only route on which KLM faces three competitors is Barcelona where clickair, Transavia.com and Vueling all provide competition.
|Airbus A330-200||10||2||0||251 (30/221)||Africa, Middle East, North America|
|Boeing 737-300||14||0||0||127 (39/88)||Europe|
|Boeing 737-400||13||0||0||147 (39/108)||Europe|
|Boeing 737-700||3||17||11||129 (45/84)||Europe|
|Boeing 737-800||21||0||0||171 (57/114)||Europe, Middle East|
|Boeing 737-900||5||0||0||189 (51/138)||Europe, Middle East|
|Boeing 747-400||5||0||0||428 (42/386)||Africa, Mexico, Asia, North America, |
|Boeing 747-400M||17||0||0||280 (42/238)||Africa, Mexico, Asia, North America, |
Caribbean and South America
|Boeing 777-200ER||15||0||0||327 (35/292)||Africa, Middle East, Asia, North America and South America|
|Boeing 777-300ER||2||4||0||428 (35/393)||São Paulo, Dubai, New York, Manila|
|McDonnell-Douglas MD-11||10||0||0||294 (24/270)||Africa, Caribbean, North America, |
Asia, Africa, South America
KLM offers Business Class and Economy class on its aircraft. On shorthaul aircraft, Flexible Economy Class is called Europe Select, while on longhaul aircraft Business Class is called World Business Class.
All WBC seats offer personal reading lamps, leg/foot rests, and personal telephones (At the back of the controller) The McDonnell Douglas MD-11 aircraft are being configured with the new World Business Class seats which includes all features stated above.
Pre-departure facilities include a fully flexible reservation, check-in desks, lounge access, priority boarding, and 150% Flying Blue miles. Onboard, passengers are given a three course meal with menus, pre-departure beverages, and snacks, which are available throughout the flight.
KLM Flies High H with China Plans; Airline KLM Says It Is Opening Up China to Mersey Firms. Alistair Houghton Reports
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