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 LONG BEACH, Calif., Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- With the legendary DC-2 parked nearby, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines today took delivery of its first McDonnell Douglas MD-11 trijet during a ceremony that celebrated six decades of teamwork and a continuation of this important Dutch- American aircraft alliance.
 The historic event was held on the flight ramp at Douglas Aircraft Co., the commercial transport division of McDonnell Douglas. Joining Douglas officials and employees were representatives of KLM and the engine manufacturer, General Electric.
 "This is an alliance that began 60 years ago with plans to make KLM Europe's first airline operating the historic DC-2," said Douglas President Bob Hood. He noted that no other airline can make KLM's claim of operating every type of commercial aircraft in the DC line.
 Hood said that long-term customers like KLM, with exceptional service and safety, form the backbone of Douglas' strength during the industry's current challenging period.
 "Speaking personally, I appreciate the firm foundation of trust, experience and common history we share with KLM," he said. "But as the theme for today's event says, 60 years is just the beginning."
 The Douglas president also told the gathering that the aircraft manufacturer is committed to building the highest-quality airplanes, "so our customers can deliver the highest quality service worldwide."
 KLM's flagship MD-11, named after aviation pioneer Amy Johnson, is one of 10 firm orders by the carrier. It also holds 10 options for the advanced, long-range passenger jet. Present to officially accept the new widebody jetliner into the fleet was Kees den Hartog, deputy president of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
 "The MD-11 will be an asset for KLM to meet its main objectives to further increase customer preference by offering the best comfort and to meet the market demands at a competitive cost level," Hartog said.
 KLM will introduce its first MD-11 to passengers in 1994, the airline's 75th anniversary. Initial service will be to replace their DC-10s flying to Africa and the Caribbean.
 The airline's MD-11s are arranged with 299 seats in a comfortable and spacious two-class configuration. They incorporate 21st century operating efficiency and reliability. With airframe and engine improvements, the Douglas trijet is the longest-range, 300-seat aircraft flying today -- a distance of approximately 8,000 statute miles.
 The KLM MD-11's are powered by General Electric CF6-80C2D1F engines. Each aircraft's three advanced turbofans is rated at 60,000 pounds of takeoff thrust.
 Fifteen leading carriers currently fly MD-11s on scheduled routes to 83 cities worldwide.
 -0- 12/8/93
 /CONTACT: Warren Lamb of Douglas Aircraft, 310-593-3269/

CO: McDonnell Douglas Corp.; Douglas Aircraft Co.;
 KLM Royal Dutch Airlines ST: California IN: ARO AIR SU:

NY-JL -- LA030 -- 1975 12/08/93 18:11 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 8, 1993

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