KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is set to celebrate its centenary in October 2019. KLM was founded in The Hauge, Netherlands, on 7 October 1919. KLM is currently the world’s oldest airline still flying under its original name. 29 June 2019 marked the countdown of 100 days until KLM’s centenary. During its first year of scheduled flight between London and Amsterdam in 1920, KLM took 345 passengers and 25,000 kilograms of mail and cargo. Today, a single KLM Boeing 747 flight is able to carry 400 passengers and 20,000 kilograms of cargo and mail.
81 years ago, in 1938, KLM began its journey into South Africa when the brand first took off from Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to Johannesburg. The journey took 3 days. KLM currently offers daily flights from Amsterdam to Johannesburg and Cape Town operated with a Boeing 747 aircraft. “Over the past 100 years, KLM has earned a superb reputation in international air transport. We have always embodied the typical Dutch pioneering and enterprising spirit, which remains an integral part of our brand. I look back on the past 100 years with pride, but also look forward with confidence to the challenges we face on the road ahead,” said Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM.
“Last year KLM celebrated 80 years of service to South Africa and in 2019 we celebrate the 100th birthday of KLM worldwide. I am extremely proud to be part of the legacy of KLM but also of the pioneering spirit of our company which has seen us expand from a small base in the Netherlands to a worldwide footprint. It is also pleasing that over the years we have been able to increase our presence not only in South Africa but all over Africa. Today we fly to 11 destinations in Africa direct from Amsterdam and many more through our Joint Venture and codeshare partners,” said Wouter Vermeulen, General Manager of the Southern African Region at Air France-KLM.
“In the future, there will be many challenges and transitions but I am confident that KLM will enjoy another successful 100 years in Aviation. The progress we have made with our digital offer, investment into new more fuel efficient fleet, and our commitment to operate more sustainably [gives] us a solid base to grow from. I am looking forward to the exciting road ahead,” Vermeulen added.
Edited by Kojo Essah
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