KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), marked the 40th anniversary of launching scheduled passenger services to the Kingdom of Bahrain, with a private VIP Gala Dinner at the Regency Intercontinental Hotel on Thursday, October 24th. The event was held under the patronage of His Excellency Engineer Kamal bin Ahmed Mohamed, Minister of Transportation and Acting Chief Executive of the Economic Development Board, and His Excellency Nicolaas Beets, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands.
On this occasion, and on behalf of the Minister of Transportation, the Acting Undersecretary of Civil Aviation Affairs, Mr Ahmed Al-Nemah, said: “KLM is one of the major international airlines operating at Bahrain International Airport and the Bahrain-Amsterdam route has played a major role in strengthening connectivity between the regions and in bolstering ties and increasing economic activity. The Ministry of Transportation’s Civil Aviation Affairs will continue to provide full support to KLM’s operations in Bahrain as well as operations at Bahrain International Airport which include daily flight services to various worldwide destinations.”
The event was organised in conjunction with Bahrain Airport Company (BAC) and attended by distinguished guests, loyal Flying Blue members, corporate clients, and Aviation and travel industry partners.
KLM services to Bahrain began on November 4th ,1973, and have linked Bahrain to the rest of the world continuously ever since. Today, KLM operates daily flights from Bahrain International Airport (BIA) connecting passengers to Amsterdam and into the airline’s extensive global network. The airline serves Bahrain with commercial, station, and cargo services; and has a team of nine staff members based in Manama.
Commenting on this milestone, Mr Frederic Gossot, General Manager Gulf Saudi Arabia Iran and Pakistan, Air France KLM, said: “KLM is very proud to be celebrating this long association with the Kingdom of Bahrain – one of our most important destinations in the Arabian Gulf – extending to 40 years of continuous service. We have flown millions of passengers to and from Bahrain, helping to connect this wonderful country with the rest of the world. Our aim is to continue to provide outstanding services to the community of Bahrain and we look forward to the next 40 years of service. On behalf of KLM, I wish to express our deepest gratitude to the Government and authorities in Bahrain – the – Ministry of Transportation, Civil Aviation Affairs, Bahrain Airport Company, Bahrain Airport Services, Air France KLM GSA- House of Travel, our loyal Flying Blue members, corporate clients and trade partners who have made this achievement possible and the relationship such an enduring success.”
Mr Mohamed Yousif Al- Binfalah, Chief Executive Officer of BAC, added: “Being in business since 1919, and connecting the Kingdom of Bahrain to the rest of the world continuously for 40 years is a major achievement for the airline and for Bahrain International Airport. We greatly value KLM’s continued business and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate KLM for being awarded the ‘Best Airline Staff Service in Europe’ at the World Airline Awards 2013. We are keen on working in close partnership with all airline companies to provide an exceptional travel experience and greater connectivity to our valued passengers. Therefore, we are proud of KLM’s success throughout the past 40 years, and we look forward to receiving more passengers through KLM in the future.”
AIR FRANCE KLM is marking several key milestones in the Gulf in 2013, including the 50th anniversary of services to Kuwait, 40th anniversary of services to Bahrain, 30th anniversary of services to Riyadh; and also the 80th anniversary of the foundation of Air France.
Founded in 1919, KLM is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name. On September 12th 1919, Queen Wilhelmina awarded KLM – yet to be founded – its “Royal” designation. Dutch Royal Airlines for the Netherlands and its Colonies (Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij voor Nederland en Koloniën – KLM) was founded on October 7th 1919. KLM launched its first intercontinental flight, from Amsterdam to Batavia (Colonial Jakarta) in a Fokker F-VII.