KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded on October 7 1919 by Albert Plesman. It is the oldest scheduled airline in the world with a continuous history, and has continued to operate under the same name to the present.

The carrier's first scheduled flight, on May 17 1920, connected Amsterdam and London. By the end of 1920 the company had carried 345 passengers, 22 tons of cargo and three tons of mail. KLM operated its first intercontinental flight to Indonesia, then still the Dutch East Indies, in October 1924; regular scheduled flights to the Far East began in 1929. This route remained the world's longest until the outbreak of World War II. During the War KLM aircraft continued to fly from England, but operations from its home base, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, had to be reconstructed completely in 1945. Albert Plesman threw himself energetically into the task.

By the fall of 1945 Far Eastern services had re-started and in May the following year KLM became the first continental European airline to open transatlantic services to the USA.

In the financial year 1998-99, KLM carried 15,041 million passengers and 578,000 tons of cargo and mail. The company operates a fleet of 117 aircraft, and with its partner airlines operates a route network connecting more than 500 cities in 90 countries on 6 continents.

TradeWind Caribbean Airlines website http://www.tca.viscal.net/klm/history.htm

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