KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded on October 7, 1919. It has continued to operate under the same name to this day, making it the oldest scheduled airline in the world with a continuous history.
The carrier's first scheduled flight, on May 17, 1920, connected Amsterdam and London. By the end of that year the company had carried 345 passengers, 22 tons of cargo and three tons of mail.
The airline operated its first intercontinental flight to Indonesia, back then still called the Dutch East Indies, in October 1924.
The route became a regular flight in 1929 and remained the world's longest until the outbreak of World War II.
KLM continued to fly from England to Europe throughout the war, but operations from its homebase, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, had to be reconstructed from zero in 1945.
By the fall of 1945, Far Eastern services had recommenced and in May 1946, KLM was the first continental European airline to open transatlantic services to the USA.

KLM's current (1998) route network covers 163 cities in 75 countries on six continents. On April 1, 1997, KLM workforce totaled 26,811 (excluding subsidiaries). About 4,500 of these are employed outside The Netherlands.

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