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KLM celebrates its centenary with 100 years of progress

October 11, 2019 Aviation No Comments Email Email

Today, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is exactly one hundred years old. Founded in 1919, KLM is the first commercial airline that is still flying under its original name to reach this milestone in the world. A true pioneer in aviation, KLM is celebrating its centenary with a film that looks back at some of its remarkable history, while showing progress throughout the last ten decades. Underlining the evolution of aviation – and also that of society as a whole. Since KLM’s first commercial flight right up until today, the company has set its sight on progress.

Throughout the years, KLM has brought the wonder of air travel to generations. The new film tells the story of three generations of the same family who worked with KLM from the early days to the present, serving and caring for passengers. The first two featured women are inspired to fly and become flight attendants. However, the film closes with the granddaughter of the original woman, who ends up in the cockpit, taking off, as captain of KLM’s newest airplane, the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.

Recreating history

The film tracks KLM’s evolution from 1919 to the present day and features classic airplanes such as the Fokker F.II in 1934, the Douglas DC-4 in 1949, Boeing 747 in 1975 and ending with the brand-new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner. All brought to life with the authentic uniforms, props and details from each decade.

The picture-perfect period detail was created by using some of the original airplanes, building historically accurate sets and by blending archive footage with cutting edge film techniques. The film is conceived and created by KLM’s creative partner, DDB Unlimited. The team at DDB Unlimited worked closely with historians working at the KLM Heritage Centre to ensure historical accuracy – paying minute attention to detail.

There are countless real examples of entire families who have worked with KLM, careers spanning multiple generations. [DDB/KLM: add line with names of the families, links to photos, social posts with family stories]

Fly Responsibly

One of the other ways that KLM is marking its centenary is by looking to the future. Earlier this year, the airline recently launched a global call to action on sustainable travel under the name ‘Fly Responsibly’. KLM has stepped forward to ask the aviation industry as a whole to join forces to create a more sustainable future for aviation.

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