Hellesdon

Return to golden age of travel

Just Regional
Jul 11, 2014 2 mins read

A select group of passengers had the opportunity to experience the golden age of travel in a series of short flights showing a bird’s eye view of the East Coast in KLM’s iconic DC3 aircraft.

Part of the airlines 95th anniversary celebrations, the DC3 flew in from Amsterdam at the end of June, and after four days travelling down the East Coast, stopping at Newcastle, Durham and Humberside airports, ended its tour at Norwich Airport on June 28.

Built in 1944, the DC3 is the first ever commercial aircraft and passengers on the special flights travelled in the same style and luxury as passengers in the pioneering age of aviation.

Flying the DC3 meant that KLM led the way in modern European aviation, offering customers comfort on board and reliable flights in Europe, the Far East and beyond.

The DC3 aircraft, The Royal KLM Dakota PH-PBA, was in service with the 8th Air Force during the Second World War. After the war the aircraft was acquired by his Royal Highness Prince Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands, and later became the first official aircraft of the Dutch government.

After retirement in 1975 the aircraft became part of the collection of the Aviodrome museum. It was put back in service in 1998 and it has been flying ever since.

In 2010 she received her current historic KLM colour scheme and was christened ‘Princes Amalia’, after Prince Bernhard’s great grandchild, the current heiress to the Dutch throne.

Warner Rootliep, general manager UK and Ireland Air France KLM, said: “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for passengers to experience aviation at its vintage best. The DC3 is such an iconic aircraft and it was a historic moment to welcome it to Norwich. Our regional bases are incredibly important to KLM and it is fantastic to be able to showcase our heritage to the local community.”

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