Flying back to 1935: a scenic flight with KLM

“I am not going to show you how the oxygen masks work, cause there aren’t any; and if you see a little bit of oil leaking outside, don’t worry, this is totally normal.”

On any other occasion, I would have left the plane right away, but this isn’t just any ordinary plane. This is the grandmother of all planes: the DC-3 Dakota! Built in 1935, this granny, called Prinses Amalia, is still gracefully cruising the big blue skies, showing the Boeings and Airbuses of our times how things were done properly back in the old days!

We are fastening our seat belts for a scenic flight over Belfast, Northern Ireland. By we, I mean journalists, staff of Belfast City Airport and a few bloggers, all invited by KLM.  KLM will be operating daily flights from Belfast City Airport to Amsterdam and as always, they are promoting things in style!

There is only space for 12 people on board, the seats are very comfy, there’s plenty of leg space and Sonja, our friendly cabin crew member, offers us a glass of champagne and a few snacks before take-off: we are teleported back into the charms of flying in the old days!

Dakota DC3 with KLM

And then it’s time to go: the engine starts to rumble, the propellers start to turn and before we now it, we are up in the air and Belfast Lough is unfolding below us. As soon as we reach cruising altitude, we are invited into the cockpit. The pilot steers the plane with what can best be described as a gear stick, while the co-pilot is navigating his way through the Irish sky with maps. Old school methods often turn out the best!

Dakota DC3 with KLM

The Irish countryside is below us, making way for Strangford Lough, the Irish Sea and finally the city of Belfast. The clear blue skies make it pretty easy to recognize the major landmarks: the Harland and Wolff cranes, the Rise sculpture and the City Hospital are just a few miles beneath us.

The flight only takes 30 minutes, but I feel like I’ve been teleported decades back in time! Back on the ground, the friendly staff and volunteers of KLM and Belfast City Airport are welcoming us for a last chat.

KLM UK and Prinses Amalia, thanks for having me!

Dakota DC3 with KLM


This trip was sponsored by KLM. All opinions are, as always, my own!
Interested in visiting Belfast, Amsterdam or any of the other exciting destinations offered by KLM, book your flights here:

8 Replies to “Flying back to 1935: a scenic flight with KLM”

  1. TravelGretl

    Sounds and looks like a great time! Though I have to say that I also found the first sentence a bit scary. Leaking things in airplanes….. Brrr!!!

  2. Tim

    That is very cool. You can’t beat doing things the way they were done when style was the sign of the times. I wonder how much a flight back in 1935 cost compared to the fare of today?

  3. Elena

    I am out of words :). This must be a breathtaking experience. Frankly, I am not a big fan of KLM after some problematic flights in the past, but I would definitely forgive and forget everything for a chance like this.

  4. The Guy Who Flies

    Wow, what an amazing experience. I’ve flown a lot with KLM over the last 15 years (that is why I’m Platinum Elite for life 😉 ) but I’ve never been on an aircraft that old. It looks like the one there are pictures of in Schipol Airport near the Crown Lounge.

    30 minutes from Belfast to Amsterdam? Are flights getting slower? It takes 40 minutes (in the air) from Humberside to Amsterdam in a Fokker aircraft.

    • Els Post author

      It was a great experience indeed! But I didn’t fly all the way to Amsterdam though, the flight was a scenic flight over Belfast, hence the title 🙂


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