Head Office KLM
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KLM (KL/KLM) is an abbreviation of Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij N.V. or Royal Dutch Airlines, the flag carrier of the Netherlands.
In October 2009, KLM had celebrated its 90th anniversary, recognized as one of the world’s first commercial airlines. It is also known as the oldest airline that still uses its original name.
Headquartered in Amstelveen, the airline has its hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. In May 2004, KLM formed a merger with Air France. The merger made a new holding company called Air France-KLM Group. After the merger, the two airlines still operate under their own brand names.
With the slogan “Journey of Inspiration”, KLM gives the best service in every flight. As a full service airline, it offers two travel classes: Economy Class and Business Class.
Passengers of Economy Class get free checked baggage allowance up to 23 kg and cabin baggage allowance up to 12 kg. Passengers of Business Class get free checked baggage allowance up to 64 kg or two suitcases with each max. 32 kg.
In-flight entertainment is available in every KLM flight. Every passenger in both travel classes will have a personal screen with navigation available in twelve languages. They can enjoy various movies, television programs, language books, audio books, etc.
Use of portable devices such as smartphone, tablet and laptops are allowed in airplane mode setting. Holland Herald, the oldest in-flight magazine in the world, is also available in every KLM flight.
In September 2004, KLM became a part of SkyTeam which is the second largest international alliance of airlines after Star Alliance.
For more information, please refer to Refund Terms and Procedure FAQ page.
KLM was founded by Albert Plesman on 7 October 1919. The first flight commenced on 17 May 1920 using a leased Airco de Haviland DH-16. In 1921, KLM started its scheduled services.
Its first intercontinental flight, with Batavia (now Jakarta) as a final destination was served on 1 October 1924. The trial succeeds, so the scheduled flights Amsterdam-Batavia began in September 1929. Until 1939, this route was KLM’s world longest-distance scheduled service.
During World War II, lots of KLM aircrafts were damaged that the airline must rebuild its network. At the same time, the Dutch government expressed their interest in gaining more stakes and nationalizing the airline. However, Plesman insisted that KLM remain as a private company with the Dutch government owning only a small share.
KLM was the first European airline starting transatlantic schedule flights between Amsterdam and New York City on 21 May 1946. By 1948, KLM had expanded its services to Africa, North and South America, and the Caribbean. The expansion continued in 1950s with the addition of several destinations in western North America.
After Plesman passed away in December 1953, the company entered a difficult economic period. At the same time, the Dutch government increased their ownership of the company and nationalized the airline. However, the board of directors still remained under the private shareholders’ control.
When the wide body jets era began in February 1971, KLM became the first airline using higher gross-weight Boeing 747-200 into their service.
The oil crisis in 1973 caused the second difficult economic period that led KLM to seek for government fund. In return, KLM issued an additional share of stock for the government. By the end of 1970s, the government’s stake in KLM had increased to 78%.
In the late 1980s, KLM started to develop its hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. In December 1991, KLM was the first European airline to introduce a frequent flyer loyalty program called Flying Dutchman.
On 30 September 2003, Air France and KLM agreed to a merger plan. The merger was completed on 5 May 2004 by a creation of a holding company named Air France-KLM which becomes the world’s largest airline group.
After the merger, both companies become subsidiaries of Air France-KLM. Both airlines also retain their own brands with Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as their key hubs.
KLM female cabin attendants wear a blue color uniform which is the same color introduced in 1971. It consists of a white shirt, a blazer and a knee-length skirt, accessorized with a dark blue scarf. It was designed by a Dutch couturier, Mart Visser.
KLM serves a wide selection of meals on board. Passengers of Economy Class get an aperitif with nuts, one choice of hot meals and a desert. À la carte menu is also available and can be ordered before the flight.
Passengers of Business Class get plenty of choices covering starter, main dishes and desserts. They also get various between-meals snacks. Beverages are offered every one hour in both classes.