La historia se repite

Posted by at 14:00

Last Monday, I was a member of the crew on the first KLM flight to Buenos Aires. After an absence of ten years, KLM is back in this beautiful Argentinian city. Even though I had never been to Buenos Aires before, this destination has always been very special for me. As a matter of fact, the very first KLM flight to Buenos Aires in 1946 was captained by my grandfather Frijns. On 6 August 1946, he took to the air in a Douglas DC-4 named ‘Friesland’. And that was not a direct flight like the one I made last Monday. No, he flew to Buenos Aires via Lisbon, Dakar, Recife and Sao Paulo!

Buenos Aires 1946

This South-Atlantic route was set up in 1946 and my grandfather was sent out to check the suitability of the airports in Recife, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, which were ‘not yet known to KLM pilots’, according to a newspaper article at the time. After a return that took three and a half days, my grandfather declared that the condition of the airports was up to standard. However, unfortunately KLM had still not concluded a satisfactory agreement with the Argentinian government at that point. So it was decided to fly to Montevideo in Uruguay, from where KLM would finally ferry its passengers to Buenos Aires by boat. In the following year, the route was more successful and by October 1947 5,500 passengers and 50,000 kg of cargo and post had been flown two million kilometres in 6,700 flying hours. In 1948, KLM and the Argentinian government finally concluded the aviation agreement allowing a scheduled service to start that would last until 2001, when Argentina was hit by a major economic crisis.

And now we’re back! And so too are the many stories that I’ve heard about my grandfather. He was a pioneer, an adventurer. He also held licence number 9, making him the ninth pilot in the history of KLM.

Inaugural Buenos Aires

And what a difference with today! I flew to Buenos Aires in thirteen and a half hours, while he took three and a half days. I flew direct while he made many stopovers. For him, this was pioneering, a real voyage of discovery. 65 years ago, my grandfather flew from Amsterdam to Buenos Aires for the first time. In so doing, he laid the foundations of KLM’s new scheduled service to Buenos Aires. I’m so proud that I’m his granddaughter!

Karen
Inflight Services

Tags: , , , ,

26 Responses to La historia se repite

  1. Kate Maat

    Bringing emotions and heartbeat to a brand

  2. Kate Maat

    Bringing emotions and heartbeat to a brand

    • KLM

      Thank you
      for your nice replies. I really had a great trip! We (the entire crew) enjoyed
      it very much. It was such a unique experience and I am very grateful that I was part
      of it. Karen

  3. Kate Maat

    Bringing emotions and heartbeat to a brand

    • KLM

      Thank you
      for your nice replies. I really had a great trip! We (the entire crew) enjoyed
      it very much. It was such a unique experience and I am very grateful that I was part
      of it. Karen

  4. Theodor

    You can be proud!!! Pioneers are rare species… :-)

  5. Theodor

    You can be proud!!! Pioneers are rare species… :-)

  6. Jtolhuis

    I’m sure he’s proud of you too…:))

  7. Jtolhuis

    I’m sure he’s proud of you too…:))

  8. Kari Heininen

    An interesting story, because I have been in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Santos, several times.

  9. Kari Heininen

    An interesting story, because I have been in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Santos, several times.

  10. Dario Aguilar

    Great story!

  11. Dario Aguilar

    Great story!

  12. Arturo

    If you like beef,  Buenos AIres is a gret place, don’t forget Empanadas and Alfajores.
    I ahve not been in Buenso Aires for almost 13 years. How did you find prices in comparison with Europe?

  13. Arturo

    If you like beef,  Buenos AIres is a gret place, don’t forget Empanadas and Alfajores.
    I ahve not been in Buenso Aires for almost 13 years. How did you find prices in comparison with Europe?

  14. Miquel Ros

    The Argentinian flag tone of blue matches well with KLM blue…

  15. miquel_gourmetorigins

    The Argentinian flag tone of blue matches well with KLM blue…

  16. H Geyssens

    Wat leuk Karen , ik heb het gevonden. Het is toch echt bijzonder voor je en een historsich feit. Leuk verhaaltje, vol trots.
    Huguette

  17. H Geyssens

    Wat leuk Karen , ik heb het gevonden. Het is toch echt bijzonder voor je en een historsich feit. Leuk verhaaltje, vol trots.
    Huguette

  18. Josué Berrú

    I am happy for you! :D KLM also inaugurated the Amsterdam – Quito ( Ecuador) non-stop  flight on October 30th, 2011. Don´t you have information, photos, videos about it? :D

    • Gumpie

      No pictures, bur I flew KL755 AMS-UIO on 16/03 and UIO-AMS on 7/04 wih Boeing 777.   Leaving UIO on 15:55PM with an relieff crew for Quaguil..  From there after a stopover (cleaning, catering and fuel) of ca 2 hrs with a fresh crew to AMS  ( 11 hrs flight time over leeward islands , south of ireland onto runway 06/24 at SPL.)
      Crew from AMS stays 2 days in UIO and then 3 days in Quaquil.  

  19. Josué Berrú

    I am happy for you! :D KLM also inaugurated the Amsterdam – Quito ( Ecuador) non-stop  flight on October 30th, 2011. Don´t you have information, photos, videos about it? :D

    • Gumpie

      No pictures, bur I flew KL755 AMS-UIO on 16/03 and UIO-AMS on 7/04 wih Boeing 777.   Leaving UIO on 15:55PM with an relieff crew for Quaguil..  From there after a stopover (cleaning, catering and fuel) of ca 2 hrs with a fresh crew to AMS  ( 11 hrs flight time over leeward islands , south of ireland onto runway 06/24 at SPL.)
      Crew from AMS stays 2 days in UIO and then 3 days in Quaquil.  

  20. Tony

    Nice story. I crossed the Equator for the very first time in a KLM DC-8. It was January 1973.
    From Rio de Janeiro to Amsterdam with stops in Sal and Lisbon. It was flight 793/794 three times a week.
    In the northbound it departs about 4 PM from Rio and had breakfast at Lisbon airport restaurant, not at the plane as nowadays.

  21. Tony

    Nice story. I crossed the Equator for the very first time in a KLM DC-8. It was January 1973.
    From Rio de Janeiro to Amsterdam with stops in Sal and Lisbon. It was flight 793/794 three times a week.
    In the northbound it departs about 4 PM from Rio and had breakfast at Lisbon airport restaurant, not at the plane as nowadays.

  22. Tony

    Nice story. I crossed the Equator for the very first time in a KLM DC-8. It was January 1973.
    From Rio de Janeiro to Amsterdam with stops in Sal and Lisbon. It was flight 793/794 three times a week.
    In the northbound it departs about 4 PM from Rio and had breakfast at Lisbon airport restaurant, not at the plane as nowadays.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *