Dutch king: I was KLM guest pi­lot for 21 years

New Straits Times - - World -

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

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