Commercial aviation took off (pun intended) in 1913 with the first ever commercial flight being operated by St-Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line, a venture that lasted all but a year. 6 years later however, on October the 7th 1919 a little known airline in the Netherlands took it’s first flight and 98 years later she is still going strong.
KLM is amongst my favorite airlines for a number of reasons. The first being that it’s the oldest airline still in operation, the second because I took my first jet setting business class flight aboard a KLM 747 in the nose of the aircraft which was an experience that I will never forget and the start of my affinity for premium class travel, and third because of those little alcohol filled houses they give away to premium cabin flyers. There isn’t a doubt that KLM is amongst my favorite airlines so I’m a bit excited to fly them today after having a 4 year hiatus from the Dutch carrier.
Since the last time I flew them they have since overhauled the business class cabin and replaced the old seats to the new reverse herringbone seats seen on many of the premier airlines like Cathay Pacific. As I think of that, I wonder how many seat configurations they have had in their 98 years in operation. How many flights, meals served, how many passengers have they carried and how many miles they’ve flown. It’s certainly a lot and today I will have the pleasure to experience another one of those flights from a carrier that is as synonymous to aviation as PanAm was in it’s heyday.
Cheers to the old lady KLM!!! Look out for a review of my flight.