Today, KLM Cityhopper celebrates its 50th anniversary. The wholly-owned KLM subsidiary, which operates around 300 flights a day to 58 European destinations (mainly business centres), operated its first flight on 29 August 1966, under the name Nederlandse Luchtvaart Maatschappij (NLM; Netherlands Airline Company). All passengers travelling with KLM Cityhopper today were treated to a festive gift.
In 1966, two air lines were established: the Northern Line from Amsterdam to Groningen via Enschede, and the Southern Line from Amsterdam to Maastricht via Rotterdam and Eindhoven. The fleet consisted of two Fokker F27 Friendships that were rented from the Royal Netherlands Air Force and first had to be converted for civilian use. The NLM started out with a staff of 22.
In 1991, the airline’s name was changed to KLM Cityhopper, following a merger between NLM Cityhopper and NetherLines (established in 1984). In 1997, Air UK was also incorporated into the airline, bringing with it a fleet consisting primarily of Fokker 100s and 50s – a major expansion.
Today, KLM Cityhopper operates around 300 flights a day, which amounts to around 100,000 flights a year, carrying more than 7 million passengers. The KLM Cityhopper fleet currently consists of 30 Embraer 190s, 3 Embraer 175s and 13 Fokker 70’s.
In 2017, KLM Cityhopper will bid farewell to its last Fokker 70. The airline welcomed its first two Embraer 190s in December 2008, and took delivery of its third Embraer 175 in August this year. By early 2018, the KLM Cityhopper fleet will consist of 30 Embraer 190s and 17 Embraer 175s. These new arrivals are not only more economical, but also produce fewer emissions.
In 2015, an international panel chose KLM Cityhopper as “Regional Airline of the Year”.
KLM recently announced its latest European destination: Dublin. KLM will begin serving the Irish capital at the start of the new winter schedule on 30 October, with KLM Cityhopper operating two daily flights.
Click here to read the KLM-blog about KLM Cityhopper 50 years.