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KLM

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.

Air France-KLM is part of the SkyTeam alliance with Delta Air Lines, Aeroméxico, Korean Air, Czech Airlines, Alitalia, Northwest Airlines, Aeroflot, China Southern Airlines and Continental Airlines.

History

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.

In March 2007 KLM started using the Amadeus reservation system, along with partner Kenya Airways.

Corporate organization

KLM is listed on the stock exchanges of Amsterdam, New York and Paris.

Subsidiaries:

Former subsidiaries:

Merger

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.

Presidents - CEOs

KLM Delft Blue houses

Since 1952, KLM has presented its long-haul first-class passengers with small Delftware, blue-and-white porcelain reproductions of old Dutch canal houses. In 1993, amidst the change-over from three to two cabins on its long-haul service, these canal houses (in Dutch, "huisjes") were made available to its "WorldBusiness Class" passengers.

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.

Destinations and Routes

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.

Fleet

The KLM fleet (excluding cityhopper fleet) consists of the following aircraft:
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Options Passengers
(Europe Select*/Economy)
Routes
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,
South 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
*Europe Select is offered on European short-medium haul flights using narrowbody aircraft. World Business Class is offered on International medium-long haul flight using widebody aircraft.
The average age of the KLM fleet is 10.7 years as of March 2008. KLM has started a program to renew its fleet.

  • The Boeing customer code for KLM is x06 (ex. 747-406), for some of the 737-800/900 of KLM they use Transavia's code (ex. 737-8K2).
  • KLM had its first of six Boeing 777-300ER delivered on February 13, 2008.
  • KLM received it's first Boeing 737-700 25th of August.

Cabin

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.

World Business Class

World Business Class offers a 60 inch pitch on all longhaul aircraft. All aircraft (except certain McDonnell Douglas MD-11) offer a 170 degree angled lie-flat seat with a 10.4" TV monitor with AVOD (Audio Video on Demand), email/text messaging, a privacy canopy, a massage function, and laptop power ports. KLM's newest addition to the fleet, the Boeing 777-300ER features the same Business Class seat as merger partner Air France. McDonnell Douglas MD-11 with the old configuration offer cradle seats with a 150 degree recline and personal TVs offering 12 channels of video and 12 channels of audio.

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.

Europe Select

Europe Select, KLM's premium product on shorter sectors, is offered on flights operated by Boeing 737 equipment. It offers a 33 inch pitch, a meal service on board (hot or cold meals depend on the length of the flight), priority boarding, extra baggage allowance, double Flying Blue miles, and fully flexible booking.

Economy Class

Economy Class offers a 31" pitch on all long haul aircraft except the Airbus A330-200, which offers a 32" pitch. Every aircraft (except the Boeing 747-400) offer personal TVs with AVOD and personal telephones (on the back of the controller), and an email/text messaging function. On short haul European flights on KLM and KLM Cityhopper aircraft have no in flight entertainment, and contain a seat pitch of around 30 or 31". Passengers flying Economy Class long-haul routes outside of Europe receive a hot meal service (often more than one depending on the flight duration), with real metal cutlery. Passengers flying within Europe in KLM Economy Class receive a snack to suit the time of day. Freshly prepared sandwiches made that day are served on most morning flights. Drinks (including alcohol) are free on KLM for all passengers, with the exception of champagne.

Codeshare agreements

As of May, 2008, KLM has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:

KLM Asia

KLM Asia (荷蘭亞洲航空公司 Hanyu Pinyin: Hélán Yàzhōu Hángkōng Gōngsī) is a wholly KLM owned subsidiary, registered in Taiwan, Republic of China. The airline was established in 1995 in order to operate flights to Taipei, without compromising its landing rights in the People's Republic of China, which regards the Republic of China territories (including Taiwan) as part of its territory. KLM Asia is no longer in operation, but instead the aircraft fly in the KLM Asia livery.

KLM Asia's livery does not feature Dutch national symbols, such as the Dutch flag, nor a stylised Dutch Crown. Instead, it features a KLM Asia logo.

KLM Asia fleet

KLM Asia has 6 Boeing 747-400 Combis.

  • PH-BFC - City of Calgary
  • PH-BFD - City of Dubai
  • PH-BFF - City of Freetown
  • PH-BFH - City of Hong Kong
  • PH-BFM - Mexico City
  • PH-BFP - City of Paramaribo

Incidents and accidents

For sourcing and full list of accidents from 1943 see: Aviation safety database

  • On December 20, 1934, KLM Douglas DC-2, PH-AJU "Uiver" crashed at Rutbah Wells, Iraq, killing all occupants. It participated in the Mac Robertson Air Race in October 1934 and won the handicap division. It had returned to the Netherlands in November and the crew were heroes. It was on its first flight after return from the race and was enroute to the Netherlands Indies carrying the Christmas mail.
  • On July 14, 1935, KLM Fokker F.XXII PH-AJQ "Kwikstaart" crashed and burned just outside Schiphol, killing four crew and two passengers - 14 other occupants survived.
  • On July 17, 1935, KLM DC-2 PH-AKM "Maraboe" crashed near Bushehr, Iran. All occupants were rescued.
  • On July 20, 1935, KLM Douglas DC-2, PH-AKG "Gaai" crashed in an Alpine pass in the San Bernardino Pass near Pian San Giacomo, killing all three crew and all ten passengers.
  • On November 14, 1946 - A KLM Douglas C-47 crashed at Schiphol Airport, caused by a failed landing in bad weather. All 21 passengers and the 5 crew were killed. One passenger was the Dutch writer Herman de Man.
  • On January 26, 1947, KLM Douglas Dakota PH-TCR crashed after takeoff from Copenhagen, killing all 22 onboard, including Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden.
  • On October 20, 1948, KLM Lockheed Constellation PH-TEN "Nijmegen" crashed near Prestwick, Scotland, killing all 40 aboard. (see KLM Constellation air disaster 1948)
  • On 23 June 1949, KLM Lockheed Constellation PH-TER "Roermond", piloted by Hans Plesman (the son of CEO Albert Plesman crashed into the sea off Bari, killing 33 occupants.
  • On 12 July 1949, KLM Lockheed Constellation PH-TDF "Franeker" crashed into a 674ft Ghatkopar hill near Bombay, India, killing all 45 aboard. Thirteen of the dead were American news correspondents.
  • On March 22, 1952, a KLM Douglas DC-7 PH-TBJ crashed in Frankfurt, killing 42 of 47 occupants
  • On March 23, 1952, a KLM Lockheed Constellation, PH-TFF "Venlo", suffered a propeller failure and subsequent engine fire during landing in Bangkok. All 44 passengers and crew escaped shortly before the fire completely consumed the plane. A Thai ground crewman ran into the burning aircraft and returned with an infant who had been left behind.
  • On August 23, 1954; a KLM Douglas DC-6B, PH-DFO "Willem Bontekoe", crashed between Shannon and Schiphol in the North Sea, 40 km from IJmuiden - all 21 passengers and crew die.
  • On September 5, 1954, Flight 633, a Lockheed Super Constellation, PH-LKY ditched in the River Shannon after takeoff from Shannon Airport, Ireland. 28 out of 56 people on board (46 passengers and 10 crew) were killed.
  • In 1957 a KLM Super Constellation PH-LKT crashed in the sea near Biak, after take off from Mokmer airport at Biak on its way to Manilla. The pilot made a low farewell flypass over the island, but the aircraft lost altitude, crashed into the sea and exploded. Nine crew and 49 passengers died. Twenty two passengers were rescued, of whom two died later.
  • On August 14, 1958, KLM Flight 607-E, a Lockheed Super Constellation, PH-LKM en route from Amsterdam to New York, via Shannon Airport, crashed into the ocean 180km off the coast of Co. Galway, Ireland. 91 passengers and 8 crew members perished.
  • On March 27, 1977, Flight 4805, a Boeing 747-206B, PH-BUF & Pan Am Flight 1736, a Boeing 747-121, N736PA, collided at Tenerife North Airport, Canary Islands, killing 583 people. The incident has the highest number of fatalities (excluding ground fatalities) of any single accident in aviation history.
  • On December 15, 1989, KLM Flight 867, a Boeing 747-400, PH-BFC flew through a volcanic plume causing nearly US$80 million worth of damage to the then brand-new aircraft. The plane landed in Anchorage, Alaska with no reported injuries or fatalities.
  • On November 28, 2004, KLM Flight 1673, a Boeing 737-400, PH-BTC had a birdstrike upon rotation from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, Amsterdam. The plane continued onwards to Barcelona International Airport, Barcelona where the nose gear collapsed. No injuries, or casualties, the aircraft was written off.

References

External links

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