Dutch King: So I've been piloting KLM for 21 years

19 Mai, 2017, 22:51 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Dutch king reveals he's been leading secret double life as a KLM pilot

You have an airplane, passengers and a crew.

For two decades, the king of the Netherlands has been putting the royal in KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Well, no. Since the 9/11 terror attacks have restricted passengers' access to the cockpit, there is a much reduced chance of any of the public seeing him. You have responsibility for them. That, for me, is the most relaxing part of flying'.

And even when he makes announcements to passengers, Willem-Alexander says that as a co-pilot he doesn't have to give his name.

'But most people don't listen anyway, ' he added.

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Willem-Alexander became the Prince of Orange in 1980, the heir to the Dutch throne, and king in 2013 after the death of Queen Beatrix.

King Willem has piloted the Fokker for 21 years, first for Martinair and then for KLM.

'You can't take your problems from the ground into the skies. Kysia Hekster, a reporter who covers the Dutch royals for the broadcaster NOS, said the interview was meant to highlight the kings role with the national carrier after he was criticized for taking Emirates Airlines past year to visit Australia and New Zealand. Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also reportedly takes charge of the cockpit sometimes when he flies on state visits.

In Britain, the Duke of Cambridge is just finishing off a stint as an air ambulance helicopter pilot, his brother Prince Harry served in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and their uncle Prince Andrew was a Royal Navy helicopter pilot during the Falklands War. You can for a brief moment disconnect and concentrate on something else. He says that he has no plans to learn how to fly bigger aircraft such as jumbos because he "cannot get back in time to the Netherlands in case of an emergency".

According to information provided by the Royal Dutch household to CNN, King Willem-Alexander piloted his first aircraft over 30 years ago while he was still a student.

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