25 Jun 2014

KLM brings the golden age of travel to Newcastle International Airport with its vintage DC3

DATE: 25-06-14

KLM steps back in time today as its iconic DC3 aircraft arrives at Newcastle International Airport. The DC3 flew in from Amsterdam and is embarking on a tour of the East Coast, with its first stop being Newcastle Airport.

A select group of passengers will experience the golden age of travel in a series of short flights showing a bird’s eye view of the East Coast. Built in 1944, the DC3 is the first ever commercial aircraft and passengers from Newcastle will be travelling in the same style and luxury as passengers in the pioneering age of aviation. Flying the DC3 meant that KLM led the way in modern European aviation, offering customers comfort on board and reliable flights in Europe, the Far East and beyond.

The DC3 aircraft, the Royal KLM Dakota PH-PBA was in service with the 8th Air Force during the Second World War. After the war the aircraft was acquired by his Royal Highness Prince Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands, and later became the first official aircraft of the Dutch government.

After retirement in 1975 the aircraft became part of the collection of the Aviodrome museum. It was put back in service in 1998 and it has been flying ever since. In 2010 she received her current historic KLM colour scheme and was christened ‘Princes Amalia’, after Prince Bernhard’s great grandchild, the current heiress to the Dutch throne.

This year KLM celebrates its 95th year. KLM was founded in 1919 and merged with Air France in May 2004. Since then, they have formed a major player in the air transport industry. The two airlines operate the leading long-haul network on departure from Europe.

Warner Rootliep, General Manager UK & Ireland Air France KLM said: “We are offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for passengers to experience aviation at its vintage best.  The DC3 is such an iconic aircraft and it is a historic moment to welcome it to Newcastle. Our regional bases are incredibly important to KLM and it is fantastic to be able to showcase our heritage to the local community.”

Dave Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “KLM are an important airline partner and we’re delighted to welcome this historic DC3 aircraft to Newcastle Airport. KLM’s operation from Newcastle has grown from strength to strength and reached 300,000 passengers in the last 12 months. We have an excellent relationship with KLM and look forward to further growth in the future.”

After the Newcastle flights the DC3 will continue its tour of the East Coast calling at Durham Tees Valley on June 26, Humberside on June 27 and finally at Norwich on June 28 before she leaves the UK to return to Amsterdam.

For more information on KLM log onto www.klm.com