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Milestones in KLM's History
For a complete online overview, please check our KLM Facebook  page

Sep 12, 1919

Queen Wilhelmina awarded KLM - yet to be founded - its "Royal" designation.

Oct 7, 1919

Dutch Royal Airlines for the Netherlands and its Colonies (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij voor Nederland en Koloniën - KLM) was founded.

Oct 21, 1919

The first KLM office opened on Heerengracht in The Hague.

May 17, 1920

KLM's first pilot, Jerry Shaw, flew from London to Schiphol in a leased De Havilland DH-16.

Apr 4, 1921

Following a winter hiatus, KLM resumed service with its own pilots and aircraft: the Fokker F-II and F-III.

May 9, 1921

KLM opened its first passenger office on Leidseplein in Amsterdam.

Oct 1, 1924

KLM initiated its first intercontinental flight, from Amsterdam to Batavia (Colonial Jakarta) in a Fokker F-VII.

Sep, 1929

KLM started regular, scheduled service between Amsterdam to Batavia. Until the outbreak of the Second World War, this was the world's longest-distance scheduled service.

Dec 1933

KLM flew Christmas and New Year's cards from Amsterdam to Batavia in a record time of just over four days in a Fokker F-XVIII Pelikaan. The mail arrived in time for Christmas.

Oct 1934

The Douglas DC-2 Uiver won a "handicap" race - a flight with passengers and cargo - from London to Melbourne.

Dec 1934

KLM made its first transatlantic flight, from Amsterdam to Curacao in a Fokker F-XVIII Snip.

Sep 1945

KLM resumed service following the Second World War, starting with domestic flights.

May 21, 1946

KLM initiated scheduled service between Amsterdam and New York using the Douglas DC-4 Rotterdam.

Nov 1, 1958

KLM opened its Amsterdam-Tokyo service, flying over the North Pole using the Douglas DC-7 Caraïbische Zee.

Mar 1960

The Jet Age began with the introduction of the Douglas DC-8.

Sep 12, 1966

NLM ("Netherlands Airlines") was founded. This was later renamed NLM Cityhopper.

Apr 1967

Schiphol Center went into service.

Feb 1971

The Wide-body Age began with the advent of the Boeing 747-206B.

Mar 1, 1971

KLM opened its headquarters in Amstelveen, south of Amsterdam.

Nov 1975

KLM added the Boeing 747-306B Combi to its fleet, an important milestone for KLM cargo transport.

Mar 1988

KLM took over NetherLines European Commuter service.

Jun 1989

KLM introduced the Boeing 747-400, the most advanced 747 of its time.

Jul 1989

KLM acquired a 20% interest in the US carrier Northwest Airlines, an important step toward the creation of a worldwide network.

Apr 1, 1991

KLM merged NLM Cityhopper and NetherLines to create KLM cityhopper.

Oct 1991

KLM increased its interest in charter carrier Transavia from 40% to 80%.

Dec 1991

KLM introduced Flying Dutchman, making it the first airline on the European continent to create a frequent flyer loyalty program.

Jan 1993

The US Department of Transportation granted KLM and Northwest Airlines antitrust immunity, allowing the two airlines to intensify their partnership.

Sep 1993

KLM and Northwest Airlines started operating all their flights between the US and Europe as part of a joint venture.

Nov 1993

For the first time in its history, KLM transported more than ten million passengers in a single year.

Mar 1994

KLM and Northwest Airlines introduce World Business Class, a new product on intercontinental flights.

Jul 1995

KLM introduced Boeing 767-300ER to service.

Jan 1996

KLM acquires 26% share in Kenya Airways.

Jan 1998

KLM and Malaysian Airlines System announce investigation into commercial cooperation.

Feb 1998

KLM-Northwest Airlines alliance honored with ‘Airline of the Year Award’ by influential US trade magazine Air Transport World.

Aug 1998

KLM repurchases all regular shares from the Dutch state. The state retains cumulative preference shares A and priority shares with a franchise in excess of 14%.

Nov 1, 1999

KLM founded AirCares, a communication and fundraising platform supporting worthy causes and focusing on underprivileged children around the world.

Dec 1999

KLM was the world's first airline to attain ISO 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System.

Spring 2002

KLM announced the first phase of a fleet renewal program for its intercontinental aircraft - three Boeing 747-400ER freighters and eight Boeing 777-200ERs to replace the Boeing 747-300s; two more Boeing 777-200ERs to replace two MD-11s. KLM placed an order with Airbus for six A330-200s. Upon completion of the program, KLM's fleet consisted solely of Boeing 747-400s, Boeing 777-200ERs, and Airbus A330-200s.

Oct 25, 2003

KLM's first Boeing 777-200R landed at Schiphol. The aircraft provides service to Cape Town, Nairobi, and New York.

May 5, 2004

The AIR FRANCE KLM Group was born. On this day Air France redeemed the conditions of its share bid, allowing for the merger between Air France and KLM. Seven months earlier, in September 2003, the airlines had decided to join forces.

Sep 2004

KLM, Northwest, and Continental join SkyTeam, an international alliance of airlines, of which Air France, Delta Air Lines, Alitalia, Korean Air, CSA Czech Airlines, and Aeromexico were already members.

Jun 2005

AIR FRANCE KLM introduced its new, combined, frequent flyer program, "Flying Blue". It was the first time in history that two European airlines had joined their loyalty programs - exclusive service packages targeting loyal customers.

Aug 25, 2005

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus delivered the first of KLM's A330s.

Dec 2006

KLM was the world's first airline to introduce self-service transfer kiosks at which transfer passengers at Schiphol can print out their own boarding passes, quickly and easily.

Jun 2007

KLM introduced a unique partnership with the Worldwide Fund for Nature. The agreement includes hard and fast limitations to CO2 emissions and the corporate expression that, even in the airline industry, there are different and better ways of doing business. KLM views this cooperative effort as a crowning achievement to the steps it had already taken in corporate sustainability - efforts that have earned it the title of "best in class" in terms of energy efficient flight among all the major international airlines.

Mar 30, 2008

The Open Skies treaty went into effect, allowing airlines to fly freely - for the first time - between Europe and the US. KLM had long been a proponent of this treaty.

May 23, 2008

The US Department of Transportation granted antitrust immunity to KLM, Air France, Delta Air Lines, and Northwest Airlines. This will allow these airlines to make better use of the Open Skies treaty, streamlining their activities and better attuning them to customer demand.

Dec 31, 2008

KLM becomes 100% owner of Martinair.

Jan 12, 2009

Air France-KLM takes 25% minority stake in Alitalia.

Oct 7, 2009

KLM's 90th anniversary.

Mar 30, 2010

Fokker 50 phased out. KLM says farewell to its last turboprop aircraft.

Apr 14, 2010

KLM introduces new ladies’ uniform designed by Mart Visser. A striking combination of garments, including trousers.

Nov 2011

50th anniversary of the crown logo created by British designer F. Henrion.

Jun 30, 2011

First scheduled service to Paris using biofuel.

Sep 2011

Final Fokker 100 phased out.

Mar 8, 2013

First intercontinental biofuel flight to New York.

Mar 20, 2013

Presentation of the new WBC interior designed by Hella Jongerius. The new, full-flat seat for WBC passengers is also unveiled.

May 29, 2013

First test flight with Wi-Fi on board.

Apr 30, 2014

KLM Cityhopper takes delivery of a new E190 sporting the new livery, which will appear on all KLM aircraft types in due course.

Nov 11, 2014

KLM bids farewell to the legendary MD-11 with three special roundtrip excursions over the Netherlands.

Nov 14, 2015

KLM welcomes its first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. All of KLM’s Dreamliners will be named after flowers. The first is the “Anjer” (Carnation).

May 21, 2016

KLM celebrates 70th anniversary of service to New York.

Sep 12, 2016

KLM Cityhopper celebrates 50th anniversary.

Oct 29, 2017

The Fokker 70’s final commercial flights.

Aug 23, 2017

KLM welcomes tenth Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner ‘Marguerite’.
Publication date : 28 November 2017