Air Transport World

Twelfth annual air transport world awards.

Airline of the Year

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Our top airline honors this year go to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines which has been selected by the ATW editorial staff as the 1985 Airline of the Year. Over its long history KLM has maintained many of the outstanding qualities that anyone would want for an airline, or any business. It has been innovative, financially sound and has always been dedicated to high standards of quality for its service. (See story this issue.)

KLM enters its 66th year of operations this year, having been formed in October of 1919 with the first service launched between Amsterdam and London May 17, 1920. We know of no other airline that can claim the longevity of KLM. Indeed, its founder, Albert Plesman is known as one of the true pioneers of the air transport industry.

From its beginnings to the present day KLM has established a long list of firsts that could go on for page after page. Throughout the years it has been a consistent money maker turning in its ninth consecutive profit in its most recent fiscal year. It is expected to report its tenth when the current fiscal year ends March 31. Despite being a non-U.S. airline, KLM has been traded on the New York Stock Exchange for many years.

KLM's combination of innovation and consistency has earned it three other ATW awards over the years. It received our Technical Management Award for its participation in the KSSU maintenance group, our Cargo Development Award for its innovation and quality service in that aspect of the airline industry, and finally, our Passenger Service Award last year for its high standards of passenger service over the years.

One of KLM's characteristics has been an ability to balance off a willingness to cooperate against a streak of independence, a trait long associated with its Dutch trading heritage. KLM was a leader in developing the cooperative KSSU maintenance and engineering group and has been a leader in the International Air Transport Association. Yet it has followed one of the more liberal regulatory policies of all the European carriers, one which recently led to a virtual open skies agreement with the United Kingdom and $35 fares between Amsterdam and London, ironically KLM's very first market.

During all of its years KLM has been a credit to the airline industry, its nation, and has provided valuable service to the traveling and shipping public. So, we salute KLM this year as our Airline of the Year.

Previous winners have been: 1984 Piedmont Airlines 1983 SAS 1982 Lufthansa 1981 American Airlines 1980 Japan Air Lines


Airline of the Year



Command Airways is recognized throughout the industry for its excellent, highly experienced management and its realistic, quality service approach to meeting market needs without sacrificing profit. …

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