Netherlands King Reveals Secret – He’s A KLM Pilot

Open Jaw

The reigning monarch of the Netherlands has been secretly moonlighting as an airline pilot. For decades.

King Willem-Alexander revealed in an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he'd regularly flown flights for a subsidiary of the Dutch flag carrier for over 20 years. Clearly, they don’t call it Royal Dutch Airlines for nothing!

Calling the part-time role a "hobby," the King says that he regularly took the co-pilot's chair for short-haul flights around Europe by KLM Cityhopper -- the airline's short-haul carrier. Prior to that he piloted planes for Dutch carrier Martinair.

He told the newspaper that he used the twice-monthly flights to decompress from his royal duties, with his pastime allowing him to fully concentrate on the task at hand. 

"For me the most important thing is that I have a hobby for which I need to concentrate completely," he said.

"You have an aircraft, passengers and crew. You have responsibility for them. You can't take your problems from the ground into the skies. You can completely disengage and concentrate on something else. That, for me, is the most relaxing part of flying," he said.

The monarch also revealed he has been training to fly Boeing 737s which will soon replace KLM Cityhopper's Fokker 70 fleet.

Hail to the King! We like a royal who’s not afraid of a little real work.

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