VIDEO / Celebrating KLM’s 100th birthday in Amsterdam
On October 7th, when KLM Royal Dutch Airlines turned 100 – the only airline still operating under its original name – we’ve been to Amsterdam, together with 100 journalists and influencers from around the world, to take part in the celebratory events organized throughout the day. Here are the most important moments from KLM’s 100th anniversary.
We’ve started our day early in Business Class, seat 1A, taking off from Bucharest (OTP) to Amsterdam (AMS) at 7 AM on a Boeing 737-900ER. During the flight, besides the captain’s announcement related to the 100th anniversary, the crew had a surprise prepared for passengers: each one received as a gift an iconic Dutch house made of felt from recycled ladies’ uniforms. This happened on all KLM flights operated worldwide on October 7th.
HAPPY 100th Anniversary, KLM! 🎈🎉🎁 Here’s to the next 100 years above the clouds! ✈️ To mark this special moment, every…
After landing in Amsterdam, we’ve attended a press conference held by KLM’s CEO, Pieter Elbers, who highlighted KLM’s firsts and milestones in the airline’s 100-year history, also adding some funny jokes in parts of his speech. Among the highlights: KLM was the first European airline to fly to New York, one of the first Boeing 747 operators in the world, and the airline which formalised the position of air steward (1935). Also, on 29 September 1997, KLM and Northwest made airline history by signing a 10- year joint venture (JV) agreement – the first of its kind.
Pieter Elbers, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines CEO, highlighting the most important moments from the 100 years history of #KLM, the only airline still operating under its original name. 🇳🇱 #KLM100
“The ocean of the air unites all people”
Pieter Elbers, KLM President & CEO, stated: “The fact that we are celebrating our 100th anniversary is not just testimony to a century of successful enterprise, innovation, and commerce, but also to the faith that customers and partners have in KLM. It is an ode to KLM’s aviation pioneers, who literally put civil aviation on the map worldwide. KLM is the oldest international airline still operating under its original name. We were the first airline to successfully pursue partnerships and alliances, after which many other countries and airlines followed our example. This has brought together hundreds of millions of people around the globe. As Albert Plesman put it: “The ocean of the air unites all people.” We may take pride in our long list of achievements and efforts over the past 100 years. And so we stand – energetic and confident – on the threshold of a new century. Filled with the same pioneering and enterprising spirit, we look forward, with optimism, to taking on the challenges of sustainability and innovation.”
Airbus and Boeing congratulate KLM on its 100th anniversary, while in Amsterdam CEO Pieter Elbers proudly says the airline is ready for the next 100 years. 🎉🎁🎈🇳🇱 #KLM100
KLM Experience at Hangar 10
The second part of the day saw us arrive by coaches wrapped in KLM100 livery at Hangar 10, Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, for “KLM Experience”. Here, guests were treated to an impressive overview of KLM’s past, present and future. This included an in-depth look at KLM’s development over the decades and the role it played in international civil aviation. The afternoon started with a Q&A session with Ben Smith, CEO Air France-KLM, and Pieter Elbers, KLM CEO, who answered the journalists’ questions for 45 minutes.
LIVE from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM’s Hangar 10: Ben Smith, Air France-KLM CEO, and Pieter Elbers, KLM CEO, answer…
Asked about the recent Delta and LATAM announcement, Smith said he still thinks that airline alliances are relevant in today’s aviation landscape, but – on the other hand – every member of an alliance is free to pursue the objectives it thinks are the best for the company. Smith also stated that even though the Air France-KLM Group has seen a major improvement in operations since reaching labor stability, Air France is not the most efficient main carrier in Europe and there is a lot of room to improve. On his part, Elbers said he’s very looking forward to the next 100 years of KLM, an airline which has evolved beautifully until now. Asked about the replacement of KLM’s Boeing 737s, Elbers informed that no decision has been taken yet, highlighting the commitment for 35 Embraer E195-E2s made at Paris Air Show in June.
QUICK TOUR of KLM’s Hangar 10 at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, hangar which has been transformed – for 6 days – into an exhibition area highlighting KLM’s milestones across its 100 year history. 🇳🇱 #KLM100
“Welcome aboard” book and 100th Delft Blue house
Next up: Wopke Hoekstra, Finance Minister of The Netherlands, went on the stage set-up in Hangar 10 and stated: “You feel at home aboard a KLM aircraft. Wherever you are, when you’re with KLM, the Netherlands feels close by. Together with Schiphol, KLM is of great importance to our global connectivity and hence to employment opportunities in the Netherlands. The world is no longer the same as it was 100 years ago, but the pioneering spirit of Albert Plesman (KLM founder) is still very much alive at the company. I wish KLM a wonderful centenary and a successful, innovative, jet-setting future, in which the company will join hands with Air France in achieving their superb share objective to become Europe’s best airline.”
LIVE from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: in a hangar packed with employees, guests and media from all over the world, KLM…
Before the book’s unveiling, we’ve watched the new KLM brand movie. The first copy of “Welcome Aboard – 100 years of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines” book was presented by KLM’s current Board of Managing Directors – Pieter Elbers, René de Groot and Erik Swelheim – to 3 former KLM presidents: Pieter Bouw, Leo van Wijk and Peter Hartman. Following that, everyone’s attention turned to the official unveiling of KLM’s 100th Delftware miniature, a moment eagerly awaited by faithful collectors.
THIS IS IT! 😍 The 100th #KLM Delft Blue house (a tradition which started in 1952) has just been unveiled moments ago in Amsterdam on the same day KLM turns 100. 🇳🇱 #KLM100
This year’s miniature is a replica of Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, the home of King Willem-Alexander and his family. Huis ten Bosch Palace was built in the mid-17th century at the behest of Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange and his wife Amalia van Solms. It was extended in the first half of the 18th century by Prince Willem IV. After Willem I was crowned King of the Netherlands in 1815, the palace was regularly home to members of the Dutch royal family. Since January 2019, Huis ten Bosch Palace has been the residence of King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their three daughters. The palace also serves as a ceremonial venue.
A wonderful book about KLM’s history, “Welcome aboard!”, has been presented earlier to former #KLM CEOs Leo van Wijk, Pieter Bouw and Peter Hartman by the current CEO, Pieter Elbers. 🇳🇱 #KLM100
“To me, Huis ten Bosch Palace symbolises the special bond between KLM and the Netherlands and the fact that we have borne the predicate Royal for the past 100 years. It is, therefore, a point of pride and honour that our 100th Delftware miniature is a replica of this very special building”, stated KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers. Since 1952, KLM has presented specially designed Delftware miniature houses to World Business Class passengers on intercontinental flights. The houses are replicas of monumental buildings throughout the Netherlands. The number of houses in the collection has kept pace with KLM’s anniversary since 1994, with new miniatures added to the collection on or around KLM’s anniversary on 7 October.
PREVIEW / The new KLM brand movie. It will be aired starting tonight on national TV & online, but you can now watch it below. Enjoy! 🇳🇱 #KLM100
5D flight above Holland, 3D printing and Flying-V
We left Hangar 10 and headed towards “This is Holland” to take an amazing 9-minute 5D flight above the Netherlands (way better than a rollercoaster ride!) and find out more info about KLM’s 3D printing process and the Flying-V project developed with TU Delft (more on this revolutionary project in a dedicated article). Thanks to cutting-edge technology plus light and sound effects, “This is Holland” gives you the sensation of flying while you’re suspended in front of a huge domed screen, with your hands and feet dangling freely. During the 9-minute 5D flight – the best of this kind experienced until now – which takes you on a breathtaking journey along many beautiful places across The Netherlands, the seat tilts to give you the sensation of flying. With atmospheric effects like wind, mist and various scents, you feel like you’re flying through the air at impressive speeds, crossing dikes and braving storms.
100 YEARS and counting! ✈️ Guests celebrating KLM’s 100th anniversary in Amsterdam today received as souvenirs the 100th…
KLM Crown Lounge, Schiphol airport
The two days spent in Amsterdam as guests of KLM came to an end in KLM’s new Crown Lounge (look for Lounge 52 signs at Schiphol airport to arrive at the lounge), followed by a smooth flight back home with a Boeing 737-900ER. Happy 100th Anniversary, KLM! Here’s to the next 100 years. Fly even higher!
HOW do you #unwind in rainy and windy #Amsterdam on a Tuesday morning? Enjoying a cappuccino with a view to ✈️ from KLM’s Crown Lounge. 🇳🇱 #KLM100 Amsterdam Airport Schiphol KLM