KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will celebrate its anniversary on October 7 with the presentation of a new Delftware miniature. The 93rd house in the KLM collection is the SieboldHuis in Leiden. KLM’s Chief Operating Officer Pieter Elbers today presented the first house to Mr. Henri Lenferink, mayor of Leiden, and Mrs. Kris Schiermeier, director of the SieboldHuis.
"By choosing the SieboldHuis, KLM stresses the historical significance of its own ties with Japan. KLM launched its first scheduled service to Tokyo in 1951. This flight was operated once a week and took two and a half days to reach its destination. The flights proved successful and have remained successful to this day. Today, KLM operates 18 flights a week to Japanese destinations, carrying more than 400,000 passengers back and forth each year.”
Pieter Elbers, Chief Operating Officer KLM
The “Royal Airline Company for the Netherlands and Colonies” (KLM) was founded on October 7, 1919. That means KLM celebrates its 93rd anniversary this year, making it the world’s oldest airline still operating under its original name.
The SieboldHuis is a museum on Rapenburg in Leiden exhibiting objects collected by Philipp Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) between 1823 and 1829 during his stay in Deshima, the Dutch trading post at Nagasaki in Japan. The SieboldHuis is also a more general museum for Japanese culture, celebrating the longstanding ties between Japan and the Netherlands.
KLM first began presenting its Delftware miniatures in the 1950s. The little houses are replicas of monumental buildings in the Netherlands. Since 1994, the number of houses in the collection has kept pace with KLM’s own age, with a new miniature being added to the collection on October 7 each year, marking KLM’s anniversary. The miniatures are presented to World Business Class passengers on Intercontinental flights.