Insight & Analysis

King of the skies

Published: May 2017

Dutch royal moonlights as an airline pilot.

If being the monarch of a country wasn’t a cool enough job, Dutch King, Willem-Alexander is also a commercial airline pilot who has been flying short haul routes for Dutch airline KLM for 21 years.

The King describes flying as his “hobby” and claims that it allows him to “relax” and take a break from his royal duties.

Until recently, however, very few knew about the King’s second job – even those passengers that he spoke to over the plane’s PA system. Commenting on how he kept such a low profile he told De Telegraaf newspaper: “The advantage is that I can always say I am speaking on behalf of the captain and crew to welcome them on board, so I don’t have to say my name. But then, most people don’t listen anyway.”

Unfortunately for the King, the fleet of Fokker 70 planes that he is qualified to fly are being phased out by KLM. He will therefore need to learn to fly Boeing 737s if he is to continue his hobby.

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