AMSTERDAM AIRPORT SCHIPHOL, NETHERLANDS – On Saturday June 29, 2019 a smashing event kicked off the 100 day countdown to KLM’s 100th anniversary, on October 7. One day later, on Sunday June 30, 2019 the first KLM Boeing 787-10 arrived at Schiphol Airport. This sustainable and energy-efficient aircraft is called ‘Orange Blossom’ and carries the special KLM100 logo.

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Arrival at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport of KLM’s first Boeing 787-10 ‘Orange Blossom’ on Sunday June 30, 2019. Video: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on YouTube

KLM 100th Anniversary

Although British Airways is also celebrating its – unofficial – 100th anniversary this year, KLM is officially the oldest airline in the world. KLM (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij) Royal Dutch Airlines has always carried the same name since the airline company was established on October 7, 1919.

The 100-day countdown to KLM’s 100th anniversary on October 7, 2019 will be the start of KLM’s celebrations this year.

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In a world where KLM roams the skies, something blue has arrived. It marks the dawn of another 100 years of KLM. The newest member of the family: the 787-10 Dreamliner. It’s big! It’s blue! It’s coming soon to an airport near you! Video: KLM on YouTube

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Since I was a kid, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) always had a magic effect on me as a child in the 80s. Every time there was a trip to bring or pick up family at Schiphol – the way Dutch people call the airport – I always wanted to go along. Many aviation lovers around the world will probably recognize this exciting feeling while visiting the major airport in their region.

It was like a great adventure every time we went to Schiphol. I will never forget the mighty sight of all those big airplanes – seen from the highway – every time we approached Schiphol Airport.

Especially the beautiful big blue KLM B747 left me in awe every time I laid my eyes on the Queen of the Skies. And when she took off from Schiphol Airport – probably heading to a far and exotic country on the other side of the world – she was a true Queen in the sky with her stunning royal blue KLM colors, giving an extra meaning to the Royal Dutch Airlines.

A visit to the Panorama-dek (Schiphol’s observation deck) was a must, every time we were at Schiphol Airport. Watching planes taxi and take off at close distance in the open air – in the hot sun – was like heaven to a child like me, a true avgeek in the making. The sun also made the stunning KLM livery look even more beautiful.

KLM has always been the no. 1 airline in the Netherlands, like Schiphol Airport has always been the no. 1 airport of our small country in Europe.

Nowadays, Schiphol Airport is huge, with 2 towers and 6 runways in all directions, because of the changing wind directions in the Netherlands.

Schiphol Airport is an important European airport now, ranking as Europe’s 3rd busiest, after London Heathrow Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Schiphol was the world’s 11th busiest by total passenger traffic in 2018. It also ranks as the world’s 5th busiest by international passenger traffic and the world’s 16th busiest for cargo tonnage.

100-year bond between KLM and Schiphol Airport

Since the beginning of KLM, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is KLM’s homebase, located 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) southwest of Amsterdam. Schiphol is also the hub for KLM’s regional affiliate KLM Cityhopper as well as for Corendon Dutch Airlines, Martinair, Transavia and TUI fly Netherlands and it’s Delta Airlines’ European hub.

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Three years ago Schiphol Airport already celebrated its 100th anniversary. The connection between KLM and Schiphol Airport is a very special one, this year they will celebrate their 100 year bond together.
Video: Amsterdam Airport Schiphol on YouTube

Schiphol Airport opened on September 16, 1916 as a military airbase. The end of WWI in 1918 also saw the beginning of civilian use of Schiphol and the airport eventually lost its military role completely. This was also the start of the special bond that KLM and Schiphol Airport share together.

First flight of KLM’s brand new B787-10

On Tuesday July 2, 2019 KLM has operated the first commercial flight with the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. KLM is the first airline in Europe to fly with the 787-10.

The brand new aircraft – which was delivered last week on Sunday June 30, 2019 – left Tuesday morning from Schiphol to Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

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The brand new KLM B787-10 taking off for the first time from Schiphol Airport.
Video: Eaglewings Spotter on YouTube

The 2 African cities are part of 5 destinations that have the honor of being the first to receive the KLM Boeing 787-10. KLM will also be flying soon to destinations like Dubai, Delhi and Curaçao with the brand new B787 variant.

The Boeing 787-10 is a 68m long aircraft with 344 seats and is 42% more fuel efficient than its predecessor, the Boeing 747-400. In addition, the B787 is 50% more quiet and reduces CO2 emissions by 30% in relation to the KLM’s four-engined Jumbo Jet, which will be out of service in 2021.

The Future of KLM & Schiphol Airport

While KLM is slowly saying goodbye to the majestic Queen of the Skies, it’s also getting ready for the future with a new generation of fuel-efficient aircraft, like the brand new B787-10.

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Beautiful Crosswind Landing of a KLM B747 (Reg. PH-BFF) on runway 36R – aka the famous Polderbaan – at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. KLM will be phasing out their remaining B747s in 2021.

In the meantime Amsterdam Airport Schiphol will expand and have more flights in the coming years, getting ready to remain one of the best airports in Europe.

The bond between KLM and Schiphol Airport is a very special one. As KLM’s homebase airport, Schiphol without KLM is simply unthinkable, and vice versa. Together they also play a very important role in Dutch economy.

For almost 100 years now KLM and Schiphol are sharing their special bond together and hopefully their amazing story together will continue for many more years to come.

Like the tulip is connected to Holland forever, will KLM stay connected to Schiphol Airport forever too? Let’s hope so. Time will tell.

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Both festive occasions of the arrival are captured in this short video.
Video: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines on YouTube


(Top image: from KLM video)

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