Thursday, October 8, 2009

KLM celebrates 85 years in Indonesia

Source (click to view): eTravel Blackboard

In the midst of a year-long celebration of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines' 90th Anniversary, yet another historic milestone is being celebrated in Indonesia. Exactly 85 years ago, KLM launched its first intercontinental flight linking Amsterdam and Batavia (since re-named Jakarta).

On 01 October 1924, a Fokker F-VII took off from Schiphol Airport on a 14-day multi-stop flight that culminated in a highly-anticipated arrival at Batavia. In those early days, a return ticket cost the equivalent of €25,000 (at today's prices) and the route catered mainly to the needs of top civil servants. Passengers were given the royal treatment at every stop along the route.

The success of the trial flights encouraged KLM to commence regular scheduled services every fortnight in September 1929 and by then, the journey was shortened to just 12 days.

While gaining popularity on this route, the first operating frequency was once per 14 days. Then it became weekly, and very soon it became twice per week.

Today, KLM's daily flight to Jakarta is undertaken by the Boeing 777-300ER and B777-200 in slightly more than 12 hours (with a stop in Kuala Lumpur). KLM's growth on the route mirrors the vast strides that aviation has achieved during the intervening 85 years and travel between Amsterdam and Jakarta is routinely undertaken by people from all walks of life. Onboard the fuel-efficient B777-300ER/B777-200 fleet, all passengers are pampered with state-of-the-art amenities including audio and video on demand, language courses, audio books and games, SMS and e-mail services. In the Business Class cabin, hard-shell sleeper seats transform into a near-horizontal bed with a 175-degree incline.

KLM's on-going fleet modernisation programme, warm and genuine Dutch hospitality and reliability enhance the flying experience of our passengers as we turn 90. Indonesia and the Netherlands share a deep-rooted historical bond and Jakarta has proven to be a key destination in KLM's global network. Strong demand in 2008 has precipitated the injection of an additional 7 percent capacity on this route.

KLM's Country Manager, Indonesia Mr Axel Colen said, "Our historical and cultural bonds are deep and multi-faceted and these have resulted in strong ties between the governments, corporations and most of all the people of the Netherlands and Indonesia. Indonesia has a resilient economy with tremendous potential and we have full confidence that it will continue to be a very important market for AIR FRANCE KLM. We are ready to serve Indonesia for another 85 years!"

KLM's celebration of its 85 years of presence in Indonesia kicked off with an Aircraft Design Competition, a journey of inspiration towards the next level of Aircraft Design, with a main prize of tickets to Amsterdam including a hangar visit.

Then on 01 October 2009 KLM will host a cocktail / dinner reception at Arsip Nasional Building on 01 October 2009 to thank its customers and supporters, trade partners, media and staff - more than 300 of these have been invited. During this event, guests will be entertained by Betawi dancers and musicians, jazz band and be treated to a video flashback of KLM's Amsterdam-Jakarta service.

Special promotional fares of US$85 (including taxes) to Kuala Lumpur and US$777 (including taxes) to Europe in economy class will be offered between 19 - 26 October 2009 for travel between 19 October and 15 December 2009. In Business Class, an unbeatable promotional fare of US$1924 to Europe (fare of US$2009 for second person travelling together) is also extended for the same period.??

Visitors to the KLM website from 1 - 31 October can also take part in an online game where participants who answer the questions correctly can stand a chance to win the main prize of two tickets to Amsterdam.

In November 21, 2009, KLM will have CSR activity, where we will invite 85 orphanages to Ancol bay area, to do cleaning campaign in the morning near the beach & continue with fun filled activity at Dunia Fantasi playground.

More information on these are available on KLM's website at and details of KLM's 90 Years of Inspiration may be found at