On this date in 1919, KLM, the national airline of the Netherlands was founded. It is the oldest airline operating under its original name.
Here are some thing you might not know about long-lived airlines.
KLM is an acronym that stands for words that translate to Royal Dutch Airlines.
The airline was awarded it royal patent before it had flown its first flight. While it was founded in 1919, the maiden flight didn’t happen until 19200, with a flight between Croydon Airport in London and Amsterdam.
Its first intercontinental flight was a 1924 voyage to Batavia, in the Dutch East Indies, now known as Jakarta, Indonesia. The flight was the world’s longest scheduled flight until 1939.
In 1946, KLM became the first European airline with scheduled transatlantic service to New York.
Today KLM flies to 138 destinations with its fleet of 119 aircraft.
While KLM is the oldest operating airline, it isn’t the oldest continuously operating airline. It stopped service while the Netherlands was occupied by the Germans using World War II.
The oldest continuously operating airline is Qantas, the national airline of Australia. Qantas was founded in 1920.
The oldest airline in the Western Hemisphere is Avianca of Colombia, founded in 1919. The oldest airline in the United States is Delta, which began operations in 1924.
Our question: Originally Qantas was an acronym. What did it stand for?
Today is unofficially National Flower Day, World Smile Day and Bathtub Day.
It’s the birthday of South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who is 85; Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is 64; and musician John Mellencamp, who is 65.
Because our topic happened before 1960, we’ll spin the wheel to pick a year at random.
This week in 1982, the top song in the U.S. was “Jack and Diane” by birthday boy John Mellencamp, who was going by the name John Cougar at the time.
The No. 1 movie was “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,” while the novel “Masters of the Game” by Sidney Sheldon topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.
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