Founded in 1919, KLM operated its first official flight the following year. Other than an interruption during World War II, the airline has never ceased offering services to the public. Starting with that first flight that left Croydon Airport in London and flew to Amsterdam, KLM now provides passenger services to destinations all over the world. Those flights include several flights daily to key hubs around the globe, making the airline one of the most popular travel options for business customers.
The airline also operates a number of subsidiaries, notably KLM Cityhopper, KLM Cargo and Martinair. KLM also has a substantial interest in Kenya Airways, while also operating Transavia Airlines, a budget priced airline service.
KLM History & Information
KLM maintains its headquarters in Amstelveen, a short distance from the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. While the airline merged with Air France in 2004, the two airlines have continued to operate under their own brand names and maintain their own national headquarters. Air France/KLM is part of the Sky Team Alliance, which includes such other notable airlines as Delta, Aeroflot, China Southern, and Korean Air.
In terms of routes, KLM covers just about every country and continent around the world. Service to Cairo is provided by way of regular flights into and out of Cairo International Airport. In Ethiopia, KLM flights to and from Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa are available. KLM services points in South Africa with flights into Cape Town International Airport, as well as Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
In the Americas, KLM serves a number of destinations in the United States. These include Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta, O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City. Moving across the country, KLM flights also arrive and depart from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in Dallas, Los Angeles International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport.
KLM also provides flights in and out of Mexico City, via the Mexico City International Airport. South America is covered with flights to such exotic locations as Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima, Peru, and Sao Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil.
Other flights are regularly provided to destinations such as China, Japan, Singapore, Israel, Iran, and Dubai. In Europe, KLM covers a number of locations in Italy, France, Germany, and Luxembourg.
The KLM Fleet
From humble beginnings, KLM today operates a fleet of jetliners that are anchored by a number of Airbus and Boeing offerings. The wider bodies of the liners ensure greater comfort with the seating, even in coach settings. For short haul routes, KLM makes use of Airbus liners, notably the Airbus A320. Longer flights are distinguished by entertainment options provided by a touch control pad located at each seat, as well as full meals on many of the flights.
Cabins on KLM flights are designed to offer the latest in comfort with seating. Offering more ample seats than many of its competitors, KLM also seeks to create a relaxing atmosphere in each of its cabins. The seats are normally plush enough to allow passengers to recline and sleep if they like, and are equipped with simple pull-down trays that are ideal for snacking, working on a laptop computer, or as a convenient location for a book or magazine. Attendants are available to assist passengers with blankets and pillows, as well as provide information about specific entertainment options available during the flight.
The combination of state of the art fleets, comfortable seating, and highly trained crews have gone a long way in establishing KLM as one of the most popular airlines in the world.
KLM was the first European airline on the continent to initiate direct service to New York City, with the first flight taking place in 1946. The airline also has the distinction of launching one of the first trans-polar routes in 1958, with a flight originating in Amsterdam, with a stop in Anchorage Alaska, and a destination of Tokyo, Japan. Today, the airline serves more than 90 different destinations and has in excess of 33,000 employees.