KLM Celebrates 95 Years As Oldest Airline

December 17, 2014 2:45 pm

KLM have released a short but sweet video wishing everyone a happy Christmas as they celebrate 95 years of operating. They are officially the oldest airline in the world, retaining their name since 1919. With over 32,000 employees, 115 planes and flying to well over 100 destinations worldwide, KLM continue to be a rock-solid and trustworthy company when it comes to travel by air.

Having sponsored an aviation exhibition in Amsterdam in 1919, Albert Plesman was chosen to head KLM and founded the company in The Hague as one of the world’s first commercial airlines. In May 1920, KLM took its first flight from London to Amsterdam and by 1921 it had started scheduled services for passengers. In 1924 it launched its first intercontinental flight and by 1929 this became a regular affair and was the longest available flight until WW2. During WW2, many of the KLM planes managed to escape the Netherlands when the Nazis invaded, including the infamous Lisbon-Bristol passenger route. The Douglas DC-3 PH-ALI ‘Ibis’ was attacked at least 3 times by the Luftwaffe with the final attack in June 1943 being fatal to the flight.

After the Second World War ended, Plesman immediately started to rebuild and expand his fleet as well as create important alliances around the world. From then on, KLM has continued to grow successfully in a manner which lets them proudly display their heritage as the world’s oldest airline.

The video above is their Christmas message to their customers and also acts as a reminder for how far they have come over the last century.

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