my favorite prior to their sell-out to Air France for specious reasons. If any airline can claim to be truly global, it is/was KLM. Only 20-25% of their pax are Dutch nationals and yet they have, from their beginning, operated an extensive worldwide route newtwork that is matched only by airlines based in much larger nations. It was interesting to note that one of the reasons given by Swissair for their sad demise was that "only" 40% of their pax were Swiss nationals -- KLM has thrived on half that ratio! The one and only time I have flown on KL
) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA-AMS
, the service in coach was the best I have experienced in many years. KLM has operated continuously since their founding (albeit on a greatly reduced scale and outside of Europe during WWII) which is why, until now,
they edged out Lufthansa (who were forced to cease operations 1945-1953) by a narrow margin as my favorite European airline.
With KLM's sell-out to Air France, former runnerup Lufthansa moves into the position of my "Favorite European Airline." My last experience with LH
, two years ago PHX
) (FRA / FRF / EDDF), Germany">FRA-PHX
left me agreeing that their slogan "there's no better way to fly" was matched by their service on the ground and in the coach cabin during the 11 hours-plus-each-way flights on which I was a pax. Prior to WWII, LH
(along with KL
) was the world's most advanced airline in every respect. After resuming operations in 1953, LH
quickly returned to the top among the world's airlines in terms of equipment, route network and service. And since becoming truly
has maintained an impressive overall record of profitability while maintaing its worldwide network through trimming unprofitable routes and adding routes where profit potential exists.