The Story
The countdown to October 7, KLM’s founding date, has begun. Today President-Director Elbers kicked off the birthday festivities for invited guests in Hangar 12 at Schiphol-East. InsideFlyer was also present. However, the big star of the event, the brand new Boeing 787-10, is not. Due to certification problems, this aircraft did not fly over from the US in time. A big downer; as the dash symbolizes the future of KLM and it was fitting to be presented 100 days before the 100th anniversary. Not in the latter case either because the 787-10 has a new cabin. Instead of the Orange Blossom, the 777-300ER named Orange Pride, a Boeing 787-9 and the DC-3 of the Dutch Dakota Association provided the backdrop.

Looking back and looking ahead
The event was opened with a fanfare between the planes. Presenter Humberto Tan hosted the kick-off and gave the floor to Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, for the opening speech. The minister took the audience to the fictitious 2119, in which aviation has undergone another major transition in terms of planes and air travel. But the minister also looked back at the establishment of KLM and the special fact that the airline already received the designation Royal before its establishment. Van Nieuwenhuizen expressed her pride in KLM’s activity to invest in biokerosene, for example. “The birthday boy is bursting with enthusiasm and zest for life,” said the minister. “On to the next hundred years!”

Then it was up to Pieter Elbers, CEO and president of KLM. The rich history of KLM passed the revenue through a beautiful presentation and various (historical) films. From the first scheduled flight in 1920 to the delivery of the latest generation Dreamliner. Of course, the very latest Dreamliner was missing in the hangar. “The birthday boy is absent but the family is making something fun of it,” said Elbers, referring to the 787-9 and 777-300ER around the stage.

After an extensive review, Elbers also looked ahead. Sustainability is certainly high on the agenda for the (near) future. For example, KLM launched a new campaign today; ‘Fly Responsibly.’ With this, KLM is calling for a more critical look at whether flying is the best option. “We sometimes look at the negative consequences, but we also do incredibly beautiful things,” said Elbers. He also quoted several quotes from the first KLM CEO Albert Plesman; The ocean of the air connects all people. And the current CEO also sees KLM’s license to operate in this; connecting people. Elbers concluded with a statement that KLM is ready for the next hundred years.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

KLM100 x Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner

27 June 2019