ORANJESTAD- KLM is 103 years old, and celebrates its birthday as always with the unveiling of a Delft Blue house. This time the ceremony took place in Aruba, where CEO Marjan Rintel and a select group of media, including a journalist from our Dutch partner site www.luchtvaartnieuws.nl.
“I don’t know whether KLM employees could have imagined, when they started in 1919, that KLM’s birthday would still be celebrated 103 years later. This time even on beautiful Aruba, where we have been flying to for almost fifty years and where we celebrate the start of one hundred years of aviation on the island today. As KLM, we have experienced many highs and lows in the past century. We have always celebrated our birthday on October 7, because there is a good reason to do so: KLM is a wonderful company that connects the Netherlands with the world. We can be proud of that,” said Rintel.
About house 103: this time the choice was made for the miniature version of a house that is located in a special location: the house of the Ecury family in Aruba. Next year, Aruba will celebrate 100 years of aviation on the island, and the house – which is now part of the National Archaeological Museum of Aruba – stands close to where the first plane landed. In addition, the Ecury family has contributed greatly to the development of aviation on the island. The family enjoyed great social and business esteem.
“We are extremely proud of our cultural heritage and are therefore very honored that this iconic mansion, the Ecury complex, has been chosen as KLM’s next miniature home. We are deeply honored that Aruba’s cultural heritage will now travel to all KLM destinations worldwide,” said Agustin Vrolijk, Acting Governor of Aruba.
In December 1934 the ‘Snip’, a three-engined KLM Fokker F.XVIII, flew in seven days from Amsterdam via Marseille, Alicante, Casablanca, Porto Praia, Paramaribo and La Guaria to Curaçao. This first transatlantic flight of KLM was technically only possible with several intermediate stops, an adapted cabin and without passengers. The flight was intended to station an aircraft in the Antilles. On December 23, the ‘Snip’ made her first touchdown in Aruba.