Dutch king: I was KLM guest pilot for 21 years
THE HAGUE: Some Dutch passengers on KLM flights might have recognised the co-pilot’s voice when he introduced himself on the airline’s Cityhopper services.
It was not just their co-pilot telling them weather conditions and estimated time of arrival. It was their king.
King Willem-Alexander told national newspaper De Telegraaf in an interview published Wednesday that he has ended his role as a regular “guest pilot” after 21 years on KLM’s fleet of Fokker 70 planes and before that on Dutch carrier Martinair. He will retrain to fly Boeing 737s, as the Fokkers are being phased out of service.
While it is no secret that Willem-Alexander is a qualified pilot who sometimes flew KLM passenger flights, it was not clear how frequently it happened. De Telegraaf said he did it twice a month. As a guest flier, the king is always co-pilot.
The 50-year-old father of three and monarch to 17 million Dutch citizens calls flying a “hobby” that lets him leave his royal duties on the ground and focus on something else.
“You have an aircraft, passengers