On the 7th of October, 2019 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, the world’s oldest international airline still operating under its original name, marked its 100th anniversary. This auspicious occasion was celebrated with a spectacular event, attended by the Minister of Finance, Wopke Hoesktra. He, along with customers, partners, Air France KLM rance-KLM executives, and staff from various divisions, looked back on 100 years of KLM history and forward to a sustainable future.
Hangar 10 was the backdrop to the “KLM Experience”, where guests were treated to an impressive overview of KLM’s past, present and future. This included an in-depth look at KLM’s development over the decades and the role it played in international civil aviation.
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. 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 WopkeHoestra by KLM President & CEO Pieter Elbers.
Huis ten Bosch Palace was built in the mid-17th century at the behest of Prince Frederik Hendrik of Orange and his wife Amalia van Solms. It was extended in the first half of the 18th century by Prince Willem IV. After Willem I was crowned King of the Netherlands in 1815, the palace was regularly home to members of the Dutch royal family. Since January 2019, Huis ten Bosch Palace has been the residence of King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and their three daughters. The palace also serves as a ceremonial venue.
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.
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.
KLM staff worldwide shared special treats in honour of its100th 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. Many thousands more will gather this weekend, to undergo an unforgettable experience, featuring a wide array of events, shows, and activities.