KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will today join 800 fans in bidding a final farewell to the MD-11. KLM operated ten MD-11s between 1993 and today.
With three special Farewell Flights over the Netherlands, those in attendance will have one last chance to enjoy their favourite aircraft. Tickets for these flights sold out within minutes. This last MD-11 flight also marks the end of a remarkable era in civil aviation. KLM is the last airline in the world to deploy the MD-11 for passenger traffic. The partnership between Douglas and KLM lasted more than 80 years, which is unique.
Since 1934, KLM is the only airline in the world to have operated every series-built aircraft type manufactured by Douglas, from DC2 to DC10. It all began in 1934 with KLM’s first DC-2, which remained in service until 1946. The legendary PH-AJU “Uiver” (Stork), which won the handicap section of the London to Melbourne race in 1934, was a DC-2. The DC-3 Dakota will be on show on the apron during the farewell event at Schiphol. KLM is the only airline to have operated the DC-5, because it was the only airline that did not cancel its order for this aircraft during the Second World War.
Today, KLM bids a fond farewell to this legendary aircraft and has the honour, as a loyal customer, of marking the end of the Douglas era. Over the last few years, KLM has invested in a modern, fuel-efficient and sustainable fleet, for which the MD-11 is no longer suited. The MD-11 will be succeeded by the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in 2015. The Boeing Dreamliner can carry 294 passengers, generates fuel savings of around 30%, and produces less noise and CO2 emissions. This is how KLM is contributing to a more sustainable airline industry. The Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 will deployed instead of the MD-11 until the new aircraft are delivered.