Photographer's Note

One hour ago I was (as every day) on our International Airport Schiphol and pictured these planes, so this shot is still warm:-))

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded on October 7, 1919. It has continued to operate under the same name to this day, making it the oldest scheduled airline in the world with a continuous history.

The carrier's first scheduled flight, on May 17, 1920, connected Amsterdam and London. By the end of that year the company had carried 345 passengers, 22 tons of cargo and three tons of mail.

The airline operated its first intercontinental flight to Indonesia, then still the Dutch East Indies, in October 1924. Regular scheduled flights to the Far East began in 1929.

The route remained the world's longest until the outbreak of World War II. KLM aircraft continued to fly from England throughout the war, but operations from its homebase, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, had to be reconstructed from zero in 1945. Albert Plesman, who had founded and led the airline from the beginning, threw himself into this task with the same energy he had applied to the pre-war company. By the fall of 1945, Far Eastern services had recommenced and in May 1946, KLM was the first continental European airline to open transatlantic services to the USA.

In the fiscal year 1998/99, KLM carried 15,041 million passengers and 578,000 tons of cargo and mail. The company operates a fleet of 117 aircraft, averaging 8 years old, one of the world’s youngest. KLM and its partner airlines operate a route network connecting more than 500 cities in 90 countries on 6 continents.

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Additional Photos by Hans Stellingwerf (Hanssie) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2132 W: 2 N: 2030] (11022)
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