1931>

Poster to announce the new weekly KLM services to Batavia

A twelve day tour of pitoresque cities

Diner is served in the Fokker F-XII on his way to Batavia

The Fokker F-XII was specially designed for long-distance flights. The plane had a luxurious cabin and a galley, leaving passengers little cause for complaint.

During their flight the passengers could lean back in their 'comfortable' easy chairs and enjoy the panoramic view of the varied and fascinating landscape down below, as well as the excellent heating, the warm and cold beverages, a palatable noonday meal and, upon landing in one of the many picturesque cities along the way, they would find decent accomodation.

The comfortable seats from the F.XII

The time taken to complete the tour varied, as did the route - on average a tour lasted ten days. Passengers were also informed that the weather conditions were likely to range from sandstorms in Persia and Mesopotamia, to heavy rains in monsoon areas, which sometimes made departure from certain airfields impossible.

A key map of the route was depicted on the poster above, alongside KLM's 'finch' logo and a picture of the Fokker F-XII. The logo was not used consistently in advertisements and on other stationery.

Weekly service to Batavia

KLM ordered eight Fokkers F.XII's for its Amsterdam-Batavia Indies route.

The prototype aircraft, registered as PH-AFL and named 'Leeuwerik', completed its maiden flight on 5 December 1930.

The first flight for KLM was on 5 March 1931. The official schedule started on 1 October the same year with PH-AFV 'Valk' that reached Batavia in about 81 hours flying time during ten days.

On most flights there were four to six comfortable seats available for sleeping on.
Following delivery of the full complement of eight F.XIIs, KLM operated its Indies route exclusively with the type.
The final F.VIIb-3m's were removed from the route and used for other purposes.

 

KLM memorial statue remembering the first weekly service to the Dutch East Indies

 

Then, from August 1932, the F.XVIII supplemented the F.XII and later took over the route altogether.

 

 

New pilots for KLM

In this unique short movie from january 1931, Albert Plesman proudly presents the new trainingcentre in the Netherlands. 12 young pilots are now selected for this new training.

Some of the new students are filmed during their first flight. During this flight they have to make their final exams. This was a test to see if the students could stay calm under this "difficult" situation.