Word of welcome by Jan van Zanen to the KLM Business Unit Line Maintenance International meeting, 4 June 2024


Good morning everyone,


A very warm welcome to The Hague city hall.

It was designed by Richard Meier and opened just less than thirty years ago.

We are here in the Council Chamber, the heart of our local government and local democracy.

You have come from no less than 52 countries for this meeting of the KLM Business Unit Line Maintenance International.

The Hague is an ideal location for that.

The Hague is known as the international city of peace and justice.

The city that is home to the world.

We often host international conferences here.

Next year that will include the NATO summit.

A great honour for The Hague, but also a major undertaking.

But, as I say, we are pretty well used to it now.

As you probably know, KLM was founded in 1919.

But did you also know that it was set up here and its founder, Albert Plesman, came from The Hague?

The KLM headquarters were based in our city for many years.

At the moment the building is being converted into flats, with the first homes already occupied.

Two years ago I could show Pieter Elbers, still KLM President and CEO at the time, Plesman’s former office.

To this day, The Hague remains closely linked to aviation.

Not surprising, of course, for a city that is both the seat of the Netherlands’ government and a centre of international cooperation in peace and justice.

Aviation can only exist by virtue of good international agreements.

In many cases based on international law.

And then there is NACO, of course, the Netherlands Airport Consultants, part of Royal Haskoning DHV.

Set up 75 years ago by…. Albert Plesman.

And just as the international city of peace and justice is connected with the whole world, so NACO is also active in countless countries worldwide.

As KLM and the Business Unit Line Maintenance International are too.

I wish you an inspiring meeting and, of course, a pleasant stay in The Hague.

And remember: you will always be welcome here.