07.10.

1919: KLM – The Oldest Airline Company still Active

1919: KLM – The Oldest Airline Company still Active
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 7 October 1919
  • KLM is short for “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij“ (Dutch for “Royal Airline Company”). KLM performed its first flight with the De Haviland DH-16 biplane, which had an open cockpit and only four seats.

The Dutch company KLM was founded on this day in 1919.

It is today the oldest company still active under its original name. Not many people know that KLM is short for “Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij“ (Dutch for “Royal Airline Company”). Dutch queen Wilhelmina personally gave the company the right to bear the attribute “Royal”.

KLM performed its first flight in 1920 (the year after it was founded), on the London-Amsterdam line. The flight was performed by a De Haviland DH-16 biplane, which had an open cockpit and only four seats.

On the eve of World War II, KLM also operated what was then the longest airline in the world, from the Netherlands to Java (Indonesia was still a Dutch colony at the time).

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