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KLM and Air France celebrate big anniversaries this October

TORONTO — KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will celebrate its 95th anniversary this October, while Air France will be celebrating its 80th. They are marking the occasions worldwide with events, customer surprises, special aircraft logo, miniature houses and more.

“Thanks to the efforts, pride, expertise and energy of our 33,000 employees, KLM is now the world’s oldest airline still operating under its original name. I feel it is important that we celebrate this milestone. KLM is rooted in Dutch society and we all have KLM-blue blood coursing through our veins,” says Camiel Eurlings, KLM President & CEO.

Earlier this year, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines celebrated 40 years in Canada, with the first flight landing in Toronto in April, 1974.

KLM and Air France celebrate big anniversaries this October

Photo courtesy of KLM.

Jean-Noël Rault took over as the new Vice President and General Manager of Air France KLM Canada effective July 1, succeeding Fabien Pelous. Rault joined Air France in 1989 and has years of experience with the airlines in various positions all over the world.

“We’re proud of the history, but we are not relying on it because KLM and Air France are very modern brands, so both are combining the history with the future,” says Rault. “We have longstanding relations with agents and we fuel these relationships on a day-to-day basis, as well as framing and building product directed at the trade.”

Air France KLM continues to do well in Canada, despite the competitiveness of the market and the recent frustrations with the pilots’ strike in France. Combined the airlines will offer 46 flights per week from Canadian gateways this winter season.

“Historically, we are based in Toronto and Montreal, but with Western operations doing well and the growing importance of that market, we are closely monitoring the situation,” continues Rault. “We are always planning new routes and currently building business cases for 2015, but nothing is finalized at the moment.”