In the celebration spirit, Royal Dutch Airlines KLM marked its 100th anniversary all over the world in style recently.
The spectacular event was attended by the Minister of Finance, Wopke Hoesktra. customers, partners, Air France -KLM Executives, staff from various divisions.
In keeping with tradition, KLM marked its anniversary with the presentation of a new Delftware miniature house; a moment eagerly awaited by faithful collectors all over the world.
KLM also marked its centenary with a special book titled Welcome Aboard – 100 years of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. The first copy was presented by KLM’s current Board of Managing Directors, Pieter Elbers, René de Groot and Erik Swelheim, to three former KLM presidents, Pieter Bouw, Leo van Wijk and Peter Hartman.
This year’s miniature is a replica of Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague, the home of King Willem-Alexander and his family. The first copy of KLM’s 100th Delftware miniature house was presented to Finance Minister Wopke Hoestra by KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers.
According to the President & CEO, Pieter Elbers, “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.”
History KLM 100 years
Since the 1950s, 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.
In 1919, the young aviation pioneer Albert Plesma founded the aviation of tomorrow. As the first chief executive of KLM he had a dream: “the ocean of the air unites all people”, a network that connects all people. His vision for the future and determination have made dreams into reality.
Ever since, KLM has represented entrepreneurship and connection. For over one hundred years, the typical Dutch entrepreneurial spirit and hospitality have been travelling the world. KLM truly is Dutch heritage, connecting the Netherlands to the world and the world to the Netherlands. With KLM, travellers and companies have discovered different cultures and made their world that much bigger. By establishing and expanding our network, we connect the world, right from our home base in Amsterdam, with more than 160 destinations today.
Right from the start, we have connected with our customers by putting them first. We do so with all our passionate employees on the ground and in the air, visible or behind the screens, with the transparency and hospitality that is embedded in our DNA. It has brought us where we are today: a strong brand and moreover an airline that touches the hearts of its customers time and again.
In the past century, the world has changed drastically, and change will remain a constant factor. We have turned one hundred years old by seizing opportunities, taking up challenges, connecting with partners, and embracing new technologies. Aviation provides an important contribution to the Dutch economy. As the third largest private employer in the Netherlands, KLM is closely linked to its surroundings. That is something to be both proud of and prudent with.
The challenges of today and tomorrow remain undiminished. The care for our surroundings – nature, environment and climate – is a reality now more than ever. We have only one planet and when it comes to the future of sustainable aviation, the expectations are sky high. We owe it to the next generations, together with our partners, to find solutions for the next one hundred years. No one wins in a world that loses.
KLM staff worldwide shared special treats in honour of its 100th anniversary. There was cake and a special message from Pieter Elbers. In addition, all KLM staff will receive the coveted 100th KLM Delftware miniature house and were invited to attend the “KLM Experience”. Over the past weekend, KLM staff in their thousands were immersed in 100 years of KLM history.
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