Today it's October 7, 2019 and so the day has come; KLM turns 100.
On October 7, 1919 in the solicitor's office of Mr. H. Stoop in The Hague, the 'Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij voor Nederland en Koloniën' is established.
Just before, on September 12, queen Wilhelmina gave the airline the title "Koninklijk", or "Royal".
This makes KLM the world's oldest airline still operating with her original name.
The first flight took place on May 17, 1920. A leased De Havilland DH.16 (with registration G-EALU) from the British Airline Aircraft Transport and Travel (AT&T) flew from Croyden Airport (London) to Amsterdam. The flight took 2 hours and 15 minutes and flew at an altitude of only 90 meters.
The DH-16 was flown by H. 'Jerry' Shaw and on board were 2 journalists, British newspapers and a letter from the London Mayor adressed to the Mayor of Amsterdam.
The aircraft landed at 12:45 in the Netherlands and so the first KLM flight was history.
The aircraft is welcomed by KLM's first CEO Albert Plesman:
When AT&T went bankrupt near the end of 1920; KLM took over 4 of their DH.9B's which became KLM's first owned aircraft.
In August that year, KLM took delivery of 2 Fokker F.II aircraft; KLM's first order aircraft.
On September 30, 1920 the Fokker aircraft made de first flight from Amsterdam to London.
The era of Fokker aircraft would last for 97 years until the last Fokker F70 flight took place on October 28, 2017 again from London to Amsterdam.
On July 9, 1925 KLM transported the first mammal with an aircraft; the bull Nico V was transported from Waalhaven Airport to Paris on a Fokker F.III (H-NABR) to avoid the foot and mouth disease in Belgium.
On October 1, 1924 KLM's first intercontinental flight took off from Amsterdam to Batavia in the Dutch East Indies, the current Jakarta, Indonesia.
That day a Fokker F.VII (H-NACC) departed for Prague. While in the air above Bulgaria the encountered technical problems and had to make an emergency landing. This landing also resulted in a broken right landing gear.
But on November 2 the could leave again and eventually the arrived in Batavia on November 24.
Pictured here is the aircraft on the first stage of the flight:
On September 29, 1929 these Amsterdam - Batavia flights became regular scheduled flights which until the outbreak of World War 2 would be the world's longest scheduled flights.
On October 24, 1934 the Douglas DC-2 PH-AJU "Uiver" became famous around the world when she came 1st in the handicapped and 2nd in the outright fastest flight in the the legendary MacPherson Robertson London-Melbourne air race.
One famous picture is made in Albury, Australia when the DC-2 had to make an emergency landing in the night on a horse track where local people illuminated the track with their car's headlights. The next morning, dozends of people towed the DC-2 to a dryer area so she could take off again on the last lap to Melbourne:
On November 21, the landed back in Dutch soil and was received by thousands of people:
In 1940, KLM took delivery of 2 Douglas DC-5 aircraft, KLM would be the only airline to do so.
KLM would become the only airline in the world to take delivery of all Douglas passenger aircraft from the DC-2 all the way to the MD-11.
When World War 2 breaks out, most KLM aircraft are destroyed at Schiphol.
But in September 1945, KLM already begins domestic and international flights.
On May 21, 1946 KLM starts the first scheduled flights from Amsterdam to New York with the Douglas DC-4.
After the war, KLM is the first European airline to commence flights between Europa en the United States.
Pictured here is the DC-4 above Manhattan:
On March 25, 1960 KLM joins the Jet AGe when their first Douglas DC-8 lands on Schiphol Airport:
On April 28, 1967 KLM moves from the station building at Schiphol-East to the newly opened Schiphol-Centrum.
On January 31, 1971 KLM's very first 747 lands on Schiphol Airport. The 747-200B PH-BUA "Mississippi" was the first delivered 747-200 in the world.
The Queen was parked in front and inside the brand new, specially made for the 747 hangar 11.
She was also the first 747-200 in scheduled service when on February 14 the flew from Amsterdam to New York. The 747-200 also started KLM's widebody age.
Like more airlines at the time, KLM had to deal with overcapacity, therefore they took delivery of their first 747-200 Combi aircraft in 1975.
They also took delivery of their first Douglas DC-10 in 1972 to complement the 747's.
In 1983 they took delivery of their first Airbus, the A310.
In 1989 KLM started code-sharing flights with Northwest Airliens which would result in a 50/50 joint venture; a first the airline industry.
This collaboration also resulting in things like this:
On April 6, 1985, KLM placed an order for 6 747-400's, at the time KLM's most expensive order yet.
They were the 5th airline in the world to place an order for the new 747-400.
On May 18, 1989 they took delivery of their first -400; PH-BFA "City of Atlanta" en they became the 3rd airline in the world an the first in Europe to take delivery of the -400.
On the day of the delivery their order for 747-400 aircraft had grown to 13.
Eventually KLM would fly 46 Boeing 747's; 17 -200, 3 -300, 22 -400 and 4 -400F's.
Today the fly 10 passenger 747's and 3 747 freighters.
5 of those 10 passenger aircraft are combi aircraft; the last 747-400M's in the world when Asiana flew their last combi flight in 2017.KLM's 747 Combi PH-BFR
, on Flickr
On October 25, 2003 KLM's first Boeing 777-200ER lands at Schiphol Airport and so the (all?) Boeing twinjet era begins.
On May 5, 2004, KLM officially becomes part of the Air France-KLM Group and together they form (at the time) the largest airline company in the world in terms of total operating revenues,
and also the largest in the world in terms of international passenger-kilometres.
On October 26, 2014 KLM's last MD-11 flight lands at Schiphol Airport, operated by PH-KCE "Audrey Hepburn" from Montreal.
It was the last passenger MD-11 flight in the world, thus ending the passenger widebody tri-jet era.
On June 28, 2019 KLM took delivery of the Boeing 787-10, the 6th airline in the world and Europe's first to do so.
Today KLM's has a fleet of 120 aircraft, flying to 162 destinations around the world with about 30.000 plus employees.
Here's to another 100 years of KLM!
PS. sorry for any (spelling) mistakes as I made this post in quite a hurry. I need to go to bed now...