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Royal Dutch Airlines

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Royal Dutch Airlines

For other uses, see KLM (disambiguation).

Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij
Royal Dutch Airlines
Founded 7 October 1919 (1919-10-07)
Hubs Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Frequent-flyer program Flying Blue
Airport lounge
  • KLM Crown Lounge
  • SkyTeam Lounge
Alliance SkyTeam
Fleet size 118 (excl. subsidaries)
Destinations 136
Company slogan Een reis vol inspiratie ("Journeys of inspiration")
Parent company Air France-KLM
Headquarters Amstelveen, Netherlands
Key people Albert Plesman (Founder)
Camiel Eurlings (President & CEO)[1]

Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. (KLM Royal Dutch Airlines), known by its initials KLM, is the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands. KLM's headquarters is in Amstelveen near its hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. KLM operates worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to more than 90 destinations. It is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name. As of 31 March 2010 it had 31,787 employees.[2]

The merger of KLM with Air France in May 2004 created Air France-KLM, which is incorporated under French law with headquarters at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Both Air France and KLM continue to fly under their distinct brand names. Air France-KLM is part of the SkyTeam alliance.


Pre World War II

In 1919, a young aviator lieutenant named Albert Plesman sponsored the ELTA aviation exhibition in Amsterdam. This aviation exhibition was a great success and after closure, several Dutch commercial interests had the intention to establish a Dutch airline. Plesman was nominated to head this new airline.[4] In September 1919, Queen Wilhelmina awarded the yet to be founded KLM its "Royal" ("Koninklijke") predicate.[5] On October 7, 1919, the "Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij" (KLM) [5] was founded by Albert Plesman in The Hague as one of the world's first commercial airline companies.[4]

The first KLM flight took place on 17 May 1920. KLM's first pilot, Jerry Shaw, flew from Croydon Airport, London to Amsterdam.[5] The flight was flown using a leased Aircraft Transport and Travel De Haviland DH-16,[5] registration G-EALU, and was carrying two British journalists and a number of newspapers. In 1920, KLM carried 440 passengers and 22 tons of freight. In April 1921, after a winter hiatus, KLM resumed its services using its own pilots and aircraft: Fokker F.II and Fokker F.III.[5] In 1921, KLM started scheduled services.

KLM's first intercontinental flight was initiated on the 1st of October 1924.[5] This flight had Batavia (Colonial Jakarta) on the island Java in the Dutch East Indies as the final destination and was flown by a Fokker F.VII[5] with registration H-NACC and was piloted by Van Der Hoop. In September 1929, regular scheduled services between Amsterdam and Batavia commenced. Until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939, this was the world's longest-distance scheduled service by airplane.[5]

By 1926, it was offering flights to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, Paris, London, Bremen, Copenhagen, and Malmö, using primarily Fokker F2 & Fokker F.III.[6]

In 1930, KLM carried 15,143 passengers. The Douglas DC-2 was introduced on the Batavia service in 1934.

The first transatlantic KLM flight was between Amsterdam and Curaçao in December 1934 using the Fokker F-XVIII "Snip".[5] The first of the airline's Douglas DC-3 aircraft were delivered in 1936, and these replaced the DC-2s on the service via Batavia to Sydney. KLM was the first airline to serve Manchester's new Ringway airport from June 1938. KLM was the only civilian airline to operate the Douglas DC-5, using four examples in the Dutch East and West Indies between May 1940 and late 1941.


Template:Rail freight

Second World War

When German military forces invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940, a number of KLM aircraft (mostly DC-3s and a few DC-2s) were en route to or from the Far East or operating services in Europe. Five DC-3s and one DC-2 managed to escape to England. During the entire war, these KLM planes and crew members would fly the infamous Bristol-Lisbon scheduled passenger flights under BOAC registration.

The Douglas DC-3 PH-ALI 'Ibis', then registered as G-AGBB, was attacked three times by the Luftwaffe: on 15 November 1942, 19 April 1943, and finally on 1 June 1943 (fatal to passengers and crew, see BOAC Flight 777). Some KLM aircraft with their crews ended up in the Australia-Indonesia region, where they aided in transporting people who were escaping the Japanese aggression in that area.

Post World War II

After the ending of the Second World War in the fall of 1945, KLM immediately started to rebuild its network. Since the Dutch East Indies were in a state of revolt, Plesman's first priority was to reestablish KLM's route to Batavia. This service was reinstated by the end of 1945.[4] Domestic and European flights resumed in September 1945, initially with a fleet of Douglas DC-3s and Douglas DC-4s.[5] On 21 May 1946, KLM was the first continental European airline to start transatlantic scheduled flights between Amsterdam and New York City using Douglas DC-4 aircraft.[5] By 1948, KLM had reconstructed its network and service resumed to Africa, North and South America, and the Caribbean.[4] Long range pressurized Lockheed Constellations and Douglas DC-6s joined KLM's fleet in the late 1940s; the Convair 240 short range pressurized twin engined airliner began European flights for the company in late 1948.

During the immediate postwar period, the Dutch government expressed interest in gaining a majority stake in the airline and thus nationalizing KLM. Plesman, however, wanted KLM to remain a private company under private control and thus only allowed the Dutch government a minority stake in KLM.[4]


In 1950, KLM carried 356,069 passengers. The expansion of the network continued in the 1950s with the addition of several destinations in western North America.[4] KLM's fleet expanded as well with the addition of new versions of the Lockheed Constellation and Lockheed Electra, of which KLM was the first European airline to fly them.[4]

On 31 December 1953, the founder and president of KLM, Albert Plesman, died at the age of 64.[7][8] Fons Aler succeeded Albert Plesman as president of KLM.[9] After the death of Plesman, the company and other airlines entered a difficult economic period. The conversion to jet airplanes placed a further financial burden on KLM. Besides all this, the Dutch government increased its ownership of the company to two-thirds, and thus hereby nationalized the airline. The board of directors, however, remained under the control of the private shareholders.[4]

On 25 July 1957, the airline introduced its flight simulator for the Douglas DC-7C – the last KLM aircraft with piston engines – which opened the transpolar route from Amsterdam via Anchorage to Tokyo on 1 November 1958.[5] Each crew flying the transpolar route over the Arctic was equipped with a winter survival kit, including a 7.62 mm selective-fire AR-10 carbine for use against polar bears in the event the plane was forced down onto the polar ice.[10]

1960s and 1970s

Beginning in September 1959, the airline introduced the four-engine turboprop Lockheed Electra onto some of its European and Middle Eastern routes. In March 1960, KLM introduced the first Douglas DC-8 jet into its fleet.[5] In 1961, KLM reported its first year of losses.[4] In 1961, the president of KLM, Fons Aler, was succeeded by Ernst van der Beugel. This change of leadership, however, did not lead to a reversion of KLM's financial difficulties.[4] Van der Beugel resigned as president in 1963 due to health reasons.[11] Horatius Albarda was appointed to succeed Ernst van der Beugel as president of KLM in 1963.[12] Alberda initiated a reorganization of the company, which led to the reduction of staff and air services.[4] In 1965, Alberda lost his life in an air crash. Dr. Gerrit van der Wal succeeded Alberda as president of KLM.[13][14] Van der Wal forged an agreement with the Dutch government that KLM would be run once again as a private company without interference of the government. By 1966, the stake of the Dutch government in KLM was again reduced to a minority stake of 49.5%.[4] In 1966, KLM introduced the Douglas DC-9 on European and Middle East routes.

The new terminal buildings at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol opened in April 1967 and in 1968, the stretched Douglas DC-8-63 entered service.[5] With 244 seats, it was the largest airliner at the time. KLM was the first airline to put the higher gross-weight Boeing 747-200B into service, starting in February 1971, powered by Pratt & Whitney JT9D engines, thus beginning the airline's era of widebody jets.[5] In March 1971, KLM opened its current headquarters in Amstelveen.[5] In 1972, KLM purchased the first of several Douglas DC-10 aircraft. This jet was McDonnell Douglas's response to Boeing's 747.[4]

In 1973, Sergio Orlandini was appointed to succeed Gerrit van der Wal as president of KLM.[4][15] At the time, KLM, as well as other airlines, had to deal with overcapacity. Orlandini's solution to this overcapacity was rather innovative: he proposed to convert KLM 747s to so called "combis", in such a manner that they could carry a combination of passengers and freight.[4] In November 1975, the first of these Boeing 747-300B Combi aircraft were added to the KLM fleet.[5]

The oil crisis of 1973, which caused difficult economic conditions, led KLM to seek government assistance in arranging debt refinancing. KLM issued additional shares of stock to the government, in return for its money. In the late 1970s, the government's stake had again increased to a majority stake of 78%.[4] KLM thus, again, was nationalized. The company management, however, remained under control of the private stakeholders.[5]

1980s and 1990s

In 1980, KLM carried 9,715,069 passengers. In 1983, it reached an 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 1983 as well, KLM took delivery of its first (of ten) Airbus A310 passenger jets.[4] Sergio Orlandini retired in 1987 and was succeeded by Jan de Soet as president of KLM.[16] In 1986, the share of the Dutch government in KLM was reduced to 54.8 percent.[4] It was expected that this share would be reduced further during the decade.[4] The Boeing 747-400 was introduced into KLM's fleet in June 1989.[5]

With the liberalization of the European market, KLM started with the development of its hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol by feeding its network with traffic from affiliated airlines.[4] A major step in the development of a worldwide network was the acquisition of a 20% stake in Northwest Airlines in July 1989.[5]

In 1990, KLM carried 16,000,000 passengers. KLM president Jan de Soet retired at the end of 1990 and was succeeded in 1991 by Pieter Bouw.[17] In December 1991, KLM was the first European airline to introduce a frequent flyer loyalty program, which was called Flying Dutchman.[5]

In January 1993, the US Department of Transportation granted KLM and Northwest Airlines antitrust immunity, which allowed the two airlines to intensify their partnership.[5] As of September 1993, the partners operated all their flights between the US and Europe as part of a joint venture.[5] In March 1994, KLM and Northwest Airlines introduced World Business Class on intercontinental routes.[5] KLMs stake in Northwest Airlines was increased to 25% in 1994.[4]

KLM introduced the Boeing 767-300ER in July 1995.[5] In January 1996, KLM acquired a 26% share in the flag carrier of Kenya, Kenya Airways.[5] In 1997, Pieter Bouw resigned as president of KLM; he was succeeded by Leo van Wijk.[18] In August 1998, KLM repurchased all regular shares from the Dutch government to make KLM, once again, a private company.[5] On November 1, 1999, KLM founded AirCares, a communication and fundraising platform supporting worthy causes and focusing on underprivileged children around the world.[5]


In March and June 2002, KLM announced that 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 would be first to retire. The MD-11s will remain in service until 2014. The first Boeing 777 was received on 25 October 2003, entering commercial service on the Amsterdam–Toronto route, while the first Airbus A330-200 was introduced on 25 August 2005 and entered commercial service on the Amsterdam–Washington Dulles route.

On 30 September 2003, Air France and KLM announced and agreed to a merger plan in which Air France and KLM would become subsidiaries of a holding company called Air France-KLM. Both airlines would retain their own brands and both Paris Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol would become the key hubs.[19] In February 2004, the European Commission and US Department of Justice approved the proposed merger of Air France and KLM.[20][21] In April 2004, an exchange offer took place in which KLM shareholders exchanged their KLM shares for Air France shares.[22] Furthermore, the merger of Air France and KLM was approved by the shareholders in April 2004.[23] By exchanging the KLM shares for Air France shares, the merger was therefore fulfilled On 4 May 2004, the exchange offer was called successful,[24] As of 5 May 2004, the merger of Air France and KLM was a done deal.[25] As of 5 May 2004, Air France – KLM is listed at the Euronext exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam and New York.[23] In September 2004, the merger was completed by creation of the Air France-KLM holding company.[23] The merger of Air France and KLM resulted in the world's largest airline group by turnover. The merger should lead to an annual total cost-saving of between 400 and 500 million euros.[25]

It did not appear that KLM's longstanding joint venture with Northwest Airlines (since merged with Delta Air Lines in 2008), would be affected by the merger with Air France. Both KLM and Northwest joined the SkyTeam alliance in September 2004.

In March 2007, KLM started to use the Amadeus reservation system, along with partner Kenya Airways. Furthermore, after 10 years, Leo van Wijk resigned from his position as president of KLM to be succeeded by Peter Hartman.[26]


In January 2010, Northwest Airlines was absorbed into Delta Air Lines, ending their 21-year long alliance. In September 2010, KLM announced that the passenger division of Martinair would be integrated within KLM. All personnel and routes will be transferred to KLM. By November 2011, Martinair only consisted of the cargo and maintenance division.

In March 2011, KLM and InselAir reached an agreement for mutual interline cooperation on Insel Air destinations, thus expanding its services to its passengers. As of 27 March 2011, passengers that carry a KLM ticket could also fly to all Insel Air destinations. Passengers will be transported 'comfortably and quickly' on one ticket and with automatic baggage transfer via InselAir's hubs in Curacao and Saint Maarten/Saint Martin. Due to this agreement, KLM passengers can now connect seamlessly and continue their flights to more and to different destinations via InselAir's flights. Cities include Kingston, Jamaica; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Port-au-Prince, Haiti; and Las Piedras, Venezuela.

On 20 February 2013, KLM announced that Peter Hartman would resign as president and CEO of KLM on 1 July 2013. He was succeeded by Camiel Eurlings as of this date. Peter Hartman will remain in KLM's service until he retires on 1 January 2014.[1]

KLM was awarded the award for "Best Airline Staff Service" in Europe at the World Airline Awards 2013. This award represents the rating for an airline's performance across both Airport Staff and Cabin Staff combined, and were first introduced in 2010.[27] It is the second consecutive year that KLM wins this award; in 2012 it was awarded with this title as well.[28]

Corporate affairs and identity


KLM's corporate leadership is in hands of president and chief executive officer (CEO) Camiel Eurlings. The president and CEO is part of the larger Executive Committee, which manages KLM and consists of the statutory managing directors and executive vice presidents of KLM's business units. The business units that are represented in the Executive Committee range from Operations to Industrial Relations, and from Engineering & Maintenance to Inflight Services.[29] The supervision and management of KLM are structured in accordance with the two-tier model. This means that the Board of Managing Directors is supervised by a separate and independent Supervisory Board. Furthermore the Supervisory Board supervises the general performance of KLM as well.[30] The Board of Managing Directors of KLM is formed by the four Managing Directors, including the CEO. The Supervisory Board is formed by nine Supervisory Directors.[29]

Head office

KLM's head office is located in Amstelveen,[31][32] on a 16-acre (6.5 ha) site near Schiphol Airport. The current KLM headquarters was built between 1968 and 1970.[33] Before the opening of the new headquarters, the airline's head office was on the property of Schiphol Airport in the Haarlemmermeer.[34]


Companies with a major KLM stake include:[35]

Company Type Principal activities Incorporated in Group's Equity Shareholding
Cobalt Ground Solutions Subsidiary Ground handling United Kingdom 60%
Cygnific Subsidiary Sales and service Netherlands 100%
EPCOR Subsidiary Maintenance Netherlands 100%
High Speed Alliance Joint Venture High speed trains Netherlands 5% (10% voting right)[36][37]
Kenya Airways Associate Airline Kenya 27%
KLM Asia Subsidiary Airline Taiwan 100%
KLM Catering Services Subsidiary Catering services Netherlands 100%
KLM Cityhopper Subsidiary Airline Netherlands 100%
KLM Cityhopper UK Subsidiary Airline United Kingdom 100%
KLM Equipment Services Subsidiary Equipment support Netherlands 100%
KLM Financial Services Subsidiary Financing Netherlands 100%
KLM Flight Academy Subsidiary Flight academy Netherlands 100%
KLM Health Services Subsidiary Health services Netherlands 100%
KLM UK Engineering Subsidiary Engineering and maintenance United Kingdom 100%
Martinair Subsidiary Cargo airline Netherlands 100%
Schiphol Logistics Park Joint controlled entity Logistics Netherlands 53% (45% voting right) Subsidiary Airline Netherlands 100% France Associate Airline France 40%

Former subsidiaries

Subsidiaries, associates, and joint ventures of KLM in the past include:

Company Type Year of establishment Year of rejection Notes References
Air UK Associate 1987 1998 Upon obtaining majority stake, renamed KLM uk [38]
Braathens Joint Venture 1998 2003 [39][40]
Buzz Subsidiary 2000 2003 Sold to Ryanair [41][42][43]
De Kroonduif Subsidiary 1955 1963 Acquired by Garuda Indonesia [44]
KLM alps Subsidiary 1998 2001 [45][46]
KLM exel Subsidiary 1991 2004 [47]
KLM Helicopters Subsidiary 1965 1998 Sold to Schreiner Airways [48][49][50]
KLM Interinsulair Bedrijf (KLM-IIB) Subsidiary 1947 1949 Nationalization and renaming to Garuda Indonesia [51]
KLM uk Subsidiary 1998 2002 Merged with KLM Cityhopper [38][52]
NetherLines Subsidiary 1988 1991 Merged with NLM CityHopper and formed KLM Cityhopper [53][54]
NLM CityHopper Subsidiary 1966 1991 Merged with NetherLines and formed KLM Cityhopper [54][55]

KLM Asia

KLM Asia (Chinese: 荷蘭亞洲航空公司; pinyin: Hélán Yàzhōu Hángkōng Gōngsī) is a wholly KLM owned subsidiary registered in Taiwan. The airline was established in 1995 in order to operate flights to Taipei, Taiwan, without compromising the traffic rights held by KLM for destinations in the People's Republic of China.[56] KLM Asia was one of a number of airline subsidiaries flying under the "Asia" name with the same purpose of flying to Taiwan. These included Japan Asia Airways (a Japan Airlines subsidiary), Air France Asie, Asiana Airlines, British Asia Airways, Swissair Asia, and Australia Asia Airlines (a Qantas subsidiary).

The livery of KLM Asia does not feature Dutch national symbols, such as the flag of the Netherlands, nor does it use KLM's stylised Dutch Crown logo. Instead, it features a special KLM Asia logo. KLM Asia has 5 Boeing 747-400 Combi aircraft (included in the KLM fleet as 747-400M), 7 Boeing 777-200ER, and 2 Boeing 777-300ER all included in the KLM fleet. KLM Asia initially operated the Amsterdam-Bangkok-Taipei route with a B747-400 Combi or a B747-400 non-combi aircraft. Since March 2012, KLM Asia has operated over the revised Amsterdam-Taipei-Manila route with Boeing 777-200ER/-300ER aircraft.


At its establishment in 1919, Dirk Roosenburg designed the iconic KLM logo. In this logo, Roosenburg intertwined the letter K, L, and M and gave them wings and a crown. The crown was depicted to denote KLM's royal status, which was granted at KLM's establishment.[57] The logo became known as the so-called "vinklogo" (referring to the Chaffinch bird breed).[58] In 1925, the original KLM logo was revised by refining the logo so that it looked more dynamic compared to the original logo. The biggest revision of the KLM logo so far took place in 1961. In this year, F.H.K. Henrion designed the current KLM logo. A returning design element in this new logo was the crown which denotes KLM's royal status. The crown is formed by the line, the four blue circles, and the little cross on top of the logo. In 1991, the logo was further revised by Chris Ludlow of Henrion, Ludlow & Schmidt.[59] In addition to its main logo, KLM has shown its alliance status in its branding, including "Worldwide Reliability" with Northwest Airlines (1993–2002) and the SkyTeam alliance (2004–present).[60]

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Livery and uniforms

The KLM livery featured a bright blue fuselage, with a wide white and dark blue strip above the grey belly of the aircraft. The bright blue KLM logo was placed on the white tail. The KLM logo was placed centrally at the tail and place at the front part of the fuselage. In December 2002, KLM introduced its current livery. In this livery, the white strip is dropped while the dark blue strip is transformed into a cheatline. The bright blue color is retained and now covers almost the complete fuselage. The KLM logo is placed more centrally on the fuselage, while the position of the logo on the tail and the tail design remained the same.[61]

In April 2010, KLM introduced new uniforms for its female cabin attendants, ground attendants, and pilots at KLM and KLM Cityhopper. The complete new uniform is designed by Dutch couturier Mart Visser. The uniform has the same KLM blue color which was introduced in 1971. In order to represent the typical Dutch pragmatism, KLM added a touch of orange, the national color of the Netherlands, to the KLM blue.[62]

Marketing slogans

KLM has used different slogans throughout its operational history. Several slogans that KLM used are:

  • "The businessman travels, sends, and receives by KLM" (translated from Dutch)[63][64] (1920's)
  • "The Flying Dutchman" (possibly referring to the endless traveling of the famous story)[63][65]
  • "Bridging the World"[63] (1994)
  • "The Reliable Airline"[66]
  • "Journeys of Inspiration"[66][67] (2009–present)

Delft Blue houses

Since the 1950s, KLM presents all of its World Business Class passengers with a unique gift: a Delft blue miniature traditional Dutch house. These miniatures are reproductions of old real Dutch houses and are filled with Dutch gin, genever.[68] The houses, however, have not always been filled with genever: initially the houses were filled with Bols liqueur, while in 1986 the switch was made to Bols young genever.[69]

KLM started to hand out the houses in 1952 to its First Class passengers. However, with the elimination of First Class in 1993, the houses were instead handed out to all Business Class passengers.[70] 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. KLM did not present the Delft Blue Houses as a gift, but rather as a last drink on the house, which was served in the house.[70][71]

Every year, a new house is presented on 7 October, the anniversary of KLM's founding in 1919.[68] The number on the last presented house thus represents the number of years KLM has been in operation. There are various special edition houses which are offered to special guests (like VIPs or honeymoon couples). These special edition houses are the Dutch Royal Palace and the 17th century Cheese Weighing House De Waag in Gouda.[70]

Social media

KLM has an extensive presence on various social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube. KLM additionally runs a blog to further engage with its customers.[72] Customers can reach out to ask questions to KLM through these channels. Furthermore these channels are used by KLM to keep their followers up-to-date on the latest KLM news, marketing campaigns, and promotions.

The usage of social media platforms to reach customers experienced an extreme uptake when the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull erupted in April 2010, which caused extreme disruptions of the air traffic. In order to reach KLM, customers used the social channels. In turn KLM decided to utilize these social channels (Twitter and Facebook) to reach out to customers and provide them with information about the situation.[73] Following the increased use of social media to reach KLM, the company decided to create a one-stop-shop for the public in October 2010 and established the Social Media Hub from which customers can be served through social media.[74]

The public can reach out to KLM with questions on topics such as baggage, seat reservations and re-booking of a ticket and will receive a reply within an hour, problems will be solved within 24 hours. Initially, KLM could only be reached between certain hours, but as of 18 July 2011, KLM is one of the first airlines to offer 24/7 availability of customer service through social media platforms.[75] Customers initially could approach KLM in two languages, English and Dutch, but this gradually expanded to nine languages (English, Dutch, Spanish, German, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, and Russian).[76][77][78][79][80][81]

On 27 February 2013, KLM introduced its V.I.P. (Very Interactive Puppet) Flynt to the public. Flynt is a character which shows in a humorous, critical, and clumsy way what happens at KLM through his Facebook page. Flynt, for example, tests new KLM products, takes a closer look at KLM destinations, and shows the KLM organization from the inside.[82] Flynt furthermore engages with its Facebook friends and tells them what's happening at KLM.

KLM developed several services based on these social platforms, some of which are:

  • Meet & Seat: this service lets passengers find out about interesting people who will be on board the same KLM flight by connecting your Facebook or LinkedIn profile to the flight. Meet & Seat facilitates contact with fellow travelers who have the same background or interests.[83] By launching Meet & Seat, KLM became the world's first airline to integrate social networking in its regular flight process.[84]
  • Trip Planner: this platform utilizes Facebook in order to organize a trip with Facebook friends. The Trip Planner adds "social booking" to KLM's portfolio.[85]
  • Twitterbots: KLM operates several Twitterbots, these include a bot to request the current status of a flight and a bot to request the lowest KLM fares to a destination on a specified date or in a specified month.[86]

In June 2013, KLM launched its own 3D strategy game 'Aviation Empire' for both iOS and Android platforms. The game lets users experience what it is like to manage an airline via a game. Players manage KLM from its establishment until now by investing in a fleet, building a network with international destinations, and developing airports. The game combines the digital world with the real world by enabling the unlocking of airports by GPS check-ins.[87]


In 2011, KLM announced plans to start to use recycled cooking oil as biofuel to power more than 200 flights from Amsterdam to Paris. On 19 June 2012, KLM made the world's first-ever transatlantic KLM flight fueled partly by sustainable biofuels to Rio de Janeiro. This was the longest distance that any aircraft had flown on biofuels.[88] In March 2013, KLM announced that it would begin weekly flights from John F. Kennedy Airport to Schiphol using sustainable biofuel.[89]


Main article: KLM destinations

KLM and its partners serve 133 destinations in 69 countries across five continents from their hub at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, south of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.[90][91] KLM (and its partners) have a strong position in Greater China. KLM (and its partners) serve eight destinations in Greater China. With a total of 54 flights per week, KLM and its partners offer more connections to Greater China than any other European carrier. KLM and its partners have become the largest flight operator between Western Europe and Greater China.[92]

Codeshare agreements

Besides SkyTeam members, KLM has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:[93][94]


As of June 2013, the KLM fleet consists of the following aircraft with an average age of 9.0 years:[98][99]

KLM Fleet
Aircraft In Service Orders Passengers Notes
C Y+ Y Total
Airbus A330-200 12 0 30 31 182 243
Airbus A330-300 4 1 35 50 205 290 2014-11
Boeing 737-700 18 0 20 12 90 122
Boeing 737-800 24 1 20 24 120 164 2014-05
Boeing 737-900 5 0 28 18 132 178
Boeing 747-400 7 0 42
36 337 415
New business class with 35 seats, roll out until 2014-04
Boeing 747-400M 15 0 42
36 197 275
New business class with 35 seats, roll out until 2014-04; Phase out: 2016 - 2020 [100]
Boeing 777-200ER 15 0 35 34 251 320
Boeing 777-300ER 8 2 35 40 350 425 2015 (2)
Boeing 787-9 25[101] 36 45 195 276 2015 (2), 2016 (9)
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 5 0 24 38 229 285 Phase out: 25 October 2014[102]
KLM Cargo Fleet
Boeing 747-400ERF 4 0 112,760 kg All leased to Martinair Cargo; phase out (1) by 2015
Total 117 29

KLM is currently in the midst of a major fleet renewal programme. The complete narrow-body fleet has been replaced by next-generation aircraft. In the near future, KLM will start to renew the wide-body fleet. The complete MD-11 fleet will be phased out on 25 October 2014.[102] For winter 2013-14, the only remaining scheduled routes served by this aircraft will be Amsterdam-Montréal (1 daily) and Amsterdam-San Francisco (4-6 weekly).[103] The new Boeing 787-9 and Airbus A350-900 have been ordered by the Air France-KLM group. First deliveries are expected to enter service with KLM in 2015.[104] The Boeing customer code for KLM is 06. The Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft are delivered with Boeing customer code K2, used for Transavia.

Fleet history

Over the years, KLM operated the following aircraft types:[105]

KLM fleet (1920–1939)
Aircraft Introduced Retired
Lockheed Super Electra-14 1938 1948
Douglas DC-3 1936 1964
Fokker F.XXXVI 1935 1939
Fokker F.XXII 1935 1939
Douglas DC-2 1934 1946
Fokker F.XX 1933 1936
Fokker F.XVIII 1932 1946
Fokker F.XII 1931 1936
Fokker F.IX 1930 1936
Fokker F.VIII 1927 1940
Fokker F.VII 1925 1936
Fokker F.III 1921 1930
Fokker F.II 1920 1924
De Havilland DH.16 1920 1924
KLM fleet (1940–1979)
Aircraft Introduced Retired
McDonnell Douglas DC-10-30 1972 1995
Boeing 747-200 (includes SUD conversions) 1971 2004
Douglas DC-9 (series 10/30 aircraft) 1966 1989
Douglas DC-8 (series 30/50/60 aircraft) 1960 1985
Lockheed L-188 Electra 1959 1969
Vickers Viscount 1957 1966
Douglas DC-7 1953 1966
Lockheed Super Constellation L-1049 1953 1966
Convair 340 1953 1964
Douglas DC-4 1946 1958
Convair 240 1948 1959
Douglas DC-6 1948 1963
Douglas Skymaster C-54 1945 1959
Douglas DC-5 1940 1941
KLM fleet (1980–present)
Aircraft Introduced Retired
Airbus A330-300 2012
Boeing 737-700 2008
Boeing 777-300ER 2008
Airbus A330-200 2005
Boeing 777-200ER 2003
Boeing 737-900 2001
Boeing 737-800 1999
Boeing 767-300ER 1995 2007
McDonnell Douglas MD-11 1993
Boeing 747-400 1989
Boeing 737-400 1989 2011
Boeing 737-300 1986 2011
Airbus A310-200 1983 1997
Boeing 747-300 1983 2004

Loyalty programme

KLM's frequent flyer programme, Flying Blue, awards members miles based on the distance travelled, ticket fare and class of service. Merger partner Air France adopted the Flying Blue frequent flyer programme as well. Other airlines that adopted the Flying Blue programme are: Air Europa, Kenya Airways, and TAROM. Miles can be earned as well at all other SkyTeam partners. Membership into the Flying Blue programme is free.

Two types of miles can be earned within the Flying Blue frequent flyer programme: Award Miles and Level Miles. Award Miles can be exchanged for rewards and are valid for life by taking one flight every 20 months. Level Miles, on the other hand, are used to determine the membership level and remain valid until 31 December of each year.[106]

Award Miles can be earned at over 130 Flying Blue partners divided over ten categories: Airlines, Hotels, Cars, Entertainment, Credit Cards, Telecommunication & More, Gifts & Subscriptions, Shopping, Electronics and Exchange Miles.

The Flying Blue programme is divided into four tiers: Ivory, Silver (SkyTeam Elite), Gold (SkyTeam Elite Plus), and Platinum (SkyTeam Elite Plus).[111] The membership tier depends on the number of Level Miles and is redetermined each calendar year. Flying Blue privileges are additive by membership tier, with higher tiers including all benefits listed for prior tiers. There is an additional fifth tier, Platinum for Life, which can be obtained after 10 consecutive years of Platinum membership. After the Platinum for Life status is obtained, re-qualification is never needed again.[112] Level Miles can be earned with Air France, KLM, Air Europa, Kenya Airways, TAROM, and through the other SkyTeam partners.[106] Qualification levels and general benefits, with SkyTeam airline partners, of the different Flying Blue tiers are as follows:[112][113][114][115][116]

Flying Blue Membership Tiers
Tier Level Mileage requirements Membership benefits Validity
General benefits (tier additive) Mileage bonus Economy Comfort discount Extra baggage Lounge access
Ivory None
  • Earn Award and Level Miles on qualifying flights
  • Flying Blue Award Miles benefits
  • Free checked bag on European flights
None None None None Permanent
Silver (Elite)

Qualification: 25,000 Level Miles
or 15 one-way flights
within one year

  • Priority and exclusive check-in
  • Priority baggage drop-off
  • Priority boarding
  • Elite transfer desks
  • Extra baggage allowance
  • Preferred waitlist status
  • Preferred standby status
  • Preferred seating
  • Transfer Level Miles above threshold to next year
50% 25% 1PC @ 23KG in Economy

1PC @ 32KG in Business

Cardholder (for a fee) 1-year
Gold (Elite Plus)

Qualification: 40,000 Level Miles
or 30 one-way flights
within one year

  • Priority service at immigration
  • Priority service at the ticket office and transfer desk
  • SkyPriorrity label will be displayed at boarding pass
  • Guaranteed seat in Economy Class
  • Elite reservation service
75% 50% 1PC @ 23KG in Economy

1PC @ 32KG in Business

and 1 guest

Qualification: 70,000 Level Miles
or 60 one-way flights
within one year

No additional benefits compared to Gold status

100% 100% 1PC @ 23KG in Economy

1PC @ 32KG in Business

and 2 guests


Ground services

KLM offers various check-in methods to their passengers. Passengers are able to check in for their flights at the self-service check-in kiosks at the airport, via the Internet, and via a mobile phone or tablet using or using the dedicated KLM application. Check-in by an airline representative at the counter is provided at destinations where the above mentioned facilities are not available. Electronic boarding passes can be received at a mobile phone or tablet while boarding passes can be printed at the airport through the kiosks.[117][118]

Since 4 July 2008 KLM, in cooperation with Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, has been a pioneer by offering self-service baggage drop-off to their passengers. The project started with a pilot which concerned just one drop-off point.[119] However, the number of self-service baggage drop-off points has gradually increased and as of 8 February 2012 the number of self-service baggage drop-off points that KLM passengers are able to use is 12.[120] These self-service baggage drop-off points enable passengers to drop off their baggage by themselves. Together with the self-service check-in kiosks, KLM passengers are now able to check in without any contact with a KLM employee.

In November 2012, KLM started a pilot at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to test self-service boarding. The passengers boards the aircraft without interference of a gate agent by scanning its boarding pass, which will open a gate. Partner Air France ran the same pilot at its hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. The pilot ran until March 2013, which was followed by an evaluation.[121]

KLM is the first airline in the world to offer self-service transfer kiosks on its European and intercontinental routes for passengers connecting through Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.[122] The self-service transfer kiosks enable connecting passengers to view flight details of connecting flights, to change seat assignments or upgrade to a more comfortable seat. When a passenger misses a connecting flight, details about alternative flights can be viewed on the kiosk and a new boarding pass can be printed. Furthermore, coupons for a beverage, meal, the use of a telephone, or travel discount can be printed from the kiosk when a passenger is entitled with such coupons.[123]

Travel classes

KLM offers three classes of service on its long-haul flights: "World Business Class" (business), "Economy Comfort" (premium economy), and Economy Class. All cabins feature satellite telephones, Audio Video On Demand (AVOD) entertainment, SMS and e-mail service, and in Airbus A330-300 cabins, mood lighting.[124] Short-haul flights operated by KLM and KLM Cityhopper feature two classes of service: "Europe Business Class" (business) and Economy Class. As of December 2012, "Economy Comfort" is offered as well on flights operated by Boeing 737 aircraft.[125]

World Business Class

World Business Class is KLM's long-haul business class product. Seats in World Business Class are 20-inch (0.51 m) wide and pitched at 60-inch (1.5 m).[126] Seats can be converted into a 170 to 175-degree angled lie-flat bed with a total length of 75-inch (1.9 m). Seats are equipped with a 10.4-inch (26 cm) PTV with AVOD in the armrest, privacy canopy, massage function, and laptop power ports.[127] World Business Class seating is in a 2–3–2 abreast arrangement on the Boeing 777 aircraft and the MD-11 aircraft, in a 2–2–2 abreast arrangement on the Airbus A330 aircraft, and in a 2–2 abreast arrangement on the Boeing 747-400 aircraft.[128] KLM's newest addition to the fleet, the Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300, feature new World Business Class seats based on the Business Class seats of merger partner Air France. These new World Business Class seats emphasize personal space and are arranged in a pod-style layout.

KLM will introduce a new World Business Class seat on the complete long haul fleet, starting in June 2013. Dutch designer Hella Jongerius will design the new cabin as well as the new flat-bed seat,[129] which will replace the angled flat seat that is currently offered in World Business Class. The retrofit will start in June 2013 by refitting the 22 Boeing 747-400 aircraft first.

Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf has designed and provides amenity kits to World Business Class passengers. Each year a new design will be introduced while the color of the amenity kits will change every six months.

Europe Business Class

Europe Business Class is KLM's, and KLM Cityhopper's, short-haul business class product. This new premium product replaced the "Europe Select Class" as of 27 March 2011.[130] Europe Business Class seats measure a 17-inch (0.43 m) width and an average pitch of 33-inch (0.84 m).[126] Middle seats in rows of 3 are blocked to increase the personal space of passengers, furthermore Europe Business Class seats feature extra legroom and more recline than regular Economy Class seats. In-seat power is available on all Boeing 737 aircraft.[131] Europe Business Class does not feature any personal entertainment. Europe Business Class seating is in a 3–3 abreast arrangement, with the middle seat blocked, on the Boeing 737 aircraft, in a 3–2 abreast arrangement, with the middle seat blocked, on the Fokker 70 aircraft and in a 2–2 abreast arrangement on the Embraer 190 aircraft .[128]

Economy Comfort

Economy Comfort is the premium economy product offered on KLM flights. Economy Comfort is offered on all intercontinental flights as well as on intra-European flights operated by Boeing 737 aircraft.[125] Economy Comfort seats on long-haul flights are pitched up to 35-inch (0.89 m) and recline up to 7-inch (0.18 m).[132] Economy Comfort seats on short-haul flights are have a 33-inch (0.84 m) pitch and can recline up to 5-inch (0.13 m).[133] Except the increased pitch and recline, seating and service in Economy Comfort is the same as in Economy Class. Economy Comfort is located in a separate cabin before the Economy Class zone and thus quick disembarkation is provided to Economy Comfort passengers as well.[134]

Both intercontinental and intracontinental seats can be reserved by any Economy Class passenger. The Economy Comfort service is free for passengers with a full-fare ticket, for Flying Blue Platinum members and for Delta SkyMiles Platinum or Diamond members. Discounts apply for Flying Blue Silver or Gold members, SkyTeam Elite Plus members and Delta SkyMiles members.[134]

Economy Class

The Economy Class seats on long-haul flights offer a 31-inch (0.79 m) to 32-inch (0.81 m) pitch and are 17.5-inch (0.44 m) wide.[126][132] All seats are equipped with adjustable winged headrests, a 9-inch (23 cm) PTV with AVOD, and a personal handset satellite telephone which can be used with a credit card. Economy Class seats in Airbus A330-300 aircraft are equipped with in-seat power as well.[126] The Economy Class seats on short-haul flights offer a 30-inch (0.76 m) to 31-inch (0.79 m) pitch and are 17-inch (0.43 m) wide.[126][132] The Economy Class seats on short-haul flights do not feature any personal entertainment. The long-haul Economy Class seating is in a 3–4–3 abreast arrangement on the Boeing 747-400 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, in a 3–3–3 abreast arrangement on the MD-11 and Boeing 777-200ER aircraft and in a 2–4–2 abreast arrangement on the Airbus A330 aircraft aircraft. The short-haul Economy Class seating is in a 3–3 abreast arrangement on the Boeing 737 aircraft, in a 3–2 abreast arrangement on the Fokker 70 aircraft and in a 2–2 abreast arrangement on the Embraer 190 aircraft.[128]

The last major interior refurbishment of KLM's Economy Class took place in 2010 when interior refurbishment of its Boeing 747-400 fleet was complete. During this interior refurbishment, the old Economy Class seats were replaced by the new Economy Class seats which feature more legroom as well as the new in-flight entertainment system. By finishing this refurbishment, Economy Class now features a consistent product across the complete widebody fleet.

In-flight entertainment

KLM's in-flight entertainment system, is available in all classes on all widebody aircraft and provides all passengers with Audio/Video on Demand (AVOD). The system features over 1000 hours of interactive entertainment and offers the latest Hollywood blockbuster movies, TV programmes, music, games, and language courses. In total more than 80 movies including recent releases, classics and world cinema are available. Movies can be viewed in a selection of a variety of languages: Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish. The selection of entertainment is updated every month.[135] The in-flight entertainment system can also be used to send SMS text messages and emails to the ground. Panasonic's 3000i system is installed on all Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200ER and MD-11 aircraft and one the larger part of the Airbus A330-200 aircraft.[136] All Airbus A330-300 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, as well as some Airbus A330-200 aircraft, are fitted with the Panasonic eX2 in-flight entertainment system.[137] No in-flight entertainment system is available in KLM's and KLM Cityhopper's narrowbody aircraft.

KLM provides a selection of international newspapers to their passengers on all long-haul flights, while newspapers on short-haul flights are only offered to Europe Business Class passengers. In addition, a selection of international magazines is available for World Business Class passengers on long-haul flights.

On 29 May 2013 KLM and Air France launched a pilot to test inflight Wi-Fi. Both airlines have equipped one Boeing 777-300ER of each of their fleets with Wi-Fi. Using the inflight Wi-Fi, passengers can stay online using their Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, laptops, or tablets. Wireless service will commence once the flight has reached 20,000 feet.[141]


World Business Class passengers are served a three course meal. Each year KLM partners with a leading Dutch chef in order to develop the dishes that are served on board. Passengers in European Business Class are served either a cold meal, hot main course, or three course meal depending on the duration of the flight.[142] All chicken served in World and European Business Class meets the standards of the Dutch Beter Leven Keurmerk (Better Life Quality Mark).[143] Furthermore KLM partnered with Dutch designer Marcel Wanders to design the tableware of World and European Business Class.[144]

Economy Class passengers on long-haul flights are served a hot meal service and a snack or a second hot meal or breakfast, depending on the duration of the flight. On short-haul flights, passengers are served a snack which suits the time of day. Most alcoholic beverages are free of charge on KLM flights for all passengers. After a successful trial period, KLM introduced à la carte meals in Economy Class at 14 September 2011, with a variety of five à la carte meals available: Dutch, Japanese, Italian, cold delicacies, and Indonesian.[145][146]

Special meal offerings can be requested in each class up to 24 or 36 hours prior to departure. Special meals include children's, vegetarian, medical, and religious meals.[147] On flights to the Asian countries of India, China, South Korea, and Japan, KLM offers authentic Asian meals in all classes as one of the choices.[140] Meals served on KLM flights departing from Amsterdam are provided by KLM subsidiary KLM Catering Services.[148]

Incidents and accidents

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

This list does not include KLM cityhopper, which had two accidents: NLM CityHopper Flight 431 in 1981 and KLM Cityhopper Flight 433 in 1994.

The most notable accident in which a KLM flight has been involved was the 1977 Tenerife disaster. After this accident KLM flights have not led to fatalities.

Accidents involving fatalities

  • On 24 April 1923, Fokker F.III H-NABS departed Lympne for Rotterdam and Amsterdam. The aircraft was not heard of again. It was presumed to have crashed into the sea, killing the pilot and both passengers.[149]
  • On 22 August 1927, Fokker F.VIII H-NADU crashed near Sevenoaks, England. One crewmember was killed.[150]
  • On 20 December 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 en route to the Netherlands Indies carrying the Christmas mail.[151]
  • On 14 July 1935, KLM Fokker F.XXII PH-AJQ "Kwikstaart" crashed and burned just outside Schiphol, killing four crew and two passengers – 14 other occupants survived.[6]
  • On 20 July 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.[6]
  • On 28 December 1941, KNILM Douglas DC-3, PK-ALN (formerly KLM PH-ALN) "Nandoe" was destroyed on the ground by Japanese fighters at Medan, North Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, killing all crew members and passengers.
  • On 1 June 1943, the KLM Douglas DC-3, PH-ALI "Ibis" (evaded the Dutch occupation and operating under lease to BOAC) was shot down by eight German Junkers Ju-88 fighters over the Gulf of Biskay while on the scheduled route Lisbon-Bristol. All thirteen passengers and four KLM crewmembers perished. The same aircraft survived two previous attacks in November 1942 and April 1943. For more information see: BOAC Flight 777.
  • On 14 November 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 26 January 1947, KLM Douglas Dakota PH-TCR crashed after takeoff from Copenhagen, killing all 22 on board, including Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden.[152]
  • On 20 October 1948, KLM Lockheed Constellation PH-TEN "Nijmegen" crashed near Prestwick, Scotland, killing all 40 aboard.
  • 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.[153]
  • On 12 July 1949, KLM Lockheed Constellation PH-TDF "Franeker" crashed into a 674 ft Ghatkopar hill near Bombay, India, killing all 45 aboard. Thirteen of the dead were American news correspondents.[154]
  • On 22 March 1952, a KLM Douglas DC-6 PH-TBJ "Koningin Juliana", crashed in Frankfurt, killing 42 of 47 occupants[155]
  • On 23 August 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 died.
  • On 5 September 1954, Flight 633, a Lockheed Super Constellation, PH-LKY "Triton" 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.
  • On 14 July 1957, KLM Super Constellation PH-LKT "Neutron" crashed in the sea near Biak, after takeoff from Mokmer airport at Biak on its way to Manila. 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; there were 10 survivors. See KLM Flight 844.
  • On 14 August 1958, KLM Flight 607-E, a Lockheed Super Constellation, PH-LKM "Hugo de Groot" en route from Amsterdam to New York, via Shannon Airport, crashed into the ocean 180 km off the coast of Co. Galway, Ireland. 91 passengers and 8 crew members perished.
  • On 25 October 1968, Douglas C-47A PH-DAA of KLM Aerocarto flew into Tafelberg Mountain, Suriname, following an engine failure whilst on a survey flight. The aircraft collided with the mountain in cloud, killing three of the five people on board.[156]
  • On 27 March 1977, Flight 4805, a Boeing 747-206B, PH-BUF, and 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 on-board fatalities of any single accident in aviation history.

Notable incidents without fatalities

  • On 17 July 1935, KLM DC-2 PH-AKM "Maraboe" crashed near Bushehr, Iran. All occupants were rescued.[157]
  • On 15 November 1942, the escaped KLM DC-3 PH-ALI "Ibis", flying with a Dutch crew under BOAC's flag (G-AGBB) and later destroyed in the downing of Flight 777-A, was attacked by a single Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter, but she was able to limp on to Lisbon where repairs were carried out. The damage sustained by cannon and machine gun fire included the port wing, engine nacelle and fuselage.
  • On 19 April 1943, the Ibis was again attacked at coordinates 46 North, 9 West, by a schwarm of six Bf 110 fighters. Captain Koene Dirk Parmentier evaded the attackers by dropping to 50 feet above the ocean and then climbing steeply into the clouds. The "Ibis" again sustained damage to the port aileron, shrapnel to the fuselage and a holed fuel tank. A new wingtip was flown to Lisbon to complete repairs. Despite these attacks, BOAC continued to fly the Lisbon–Whitchurch route.
  • On 6 November 1946, KLM Douglas DC-3 PH-TBO crashed near Shere as the flight was on approach to Croydon Airport after a flight from Amsterdam. None of the 20 passengers and crew were killed in the accident.[158][159]
  • On 23 March 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.[160]
  • On 25 November 1973, KLM Flight 861, a Boeing 747-206B, PH-BUA "Mississippi" was hijacked over Iraq by Palestinian terrorists. The plane took off in Amsterdam and was bound for Tokyo. After 70 hours the plane made its final landing in Dubai. The passengers were released earlier in Malta. Everyone survived the hijack.
  • On 15 December 1989, KLM Flight 867, a Boeing 747-400, PH-BFC flew through a volcanic plume causing nearly $80 million worth of damage to the then brand-new aircraft. The plane landed in Anchorage, Alaska, with no reported injuries or fatalities.[161][162]
  • On 28 November 2004, KLM Flight 1673, a Boeing 737-400, PH-BTC had a birdstrike upon rotation from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. The plane continued onwards to Barcelona International Airport, where the nose gear collapsed. No injuries or casualties; the aircraft was written off.

Corporate responsibility issues

Alleged support to Nazi war criminals

KLM has been accused of helping Nazi war criminals to escape from Europe at the end of the Second World War. Suspected war criminals were forbidden by the Allies to leave Germany but historical research done by Dutch journalists show that KLM asked the Swiss authorities to allow some former Nazi to cross the borders without proper documents so that they could then escape to South America. [163][164] KLM has always denied that it played such a role.[165]


KLM started KLM AirCares in 1999. KLM AirCares is a programme that aids underprivileged children in developing countries that KLM flies to.[166]

See also

Amsterdam portal
Netherlands portal
Aviation portal


External links

    • Archives of official website
  • KLM mobile website
  • KLM corporate website
  • Holland Herald in-flight magazine
  • Air France KLM Finance
  • Destination Guide KLM
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