KLM aims to make dreams come true
HOLLAND'S national carrier, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, is 'Bridging the World' to celebrate its 75th anniversary.
The vision of airline founder Albert Plesman was that 'the air ocean unites all peoples'.
A competition on the theme now aims to fulfil long-cherished dreams and ideals through air travel.
Ten shoe-shine boys from Istanbul will be treated to a holiday at Holland's theme park, De Efteling.
Volunteers who prepare meals for Moscow's elderly will be flown to Holland to attend a cookery course.
Staff of a Moroccan organisation for the blind will be sent to Los Angeles to learn modern teaching methods for the sightless.
An American family will plant a citrus orchard at a school in Malawi.
Twenty-five Annes from different countries will create a bridge between cultures in Amsterdam in memory of Anne Frank.
An American will build a clinic in Guinea.
Street children from Rio de Janeiro will be treated to a week-long soccer camp with the team PSV Eindhoven.
A conference on children's literature will be held in Copenhagen, the city associated with Hans Christian Andersen.
An Australian conductor will give classes in Kiev, Ukraine. And artists from Zimbabwe will decorate a bridge in Harlem, Holland.
About 12,000 entries from 120 countries were received and a spokesman said that, in the coming months, all the dreams they outlined will come true, with KLM providing transport and all other expenses.
Two thousand air tickets were allocated to the project.
The prize winners, selected by an international jury that included former Dutch prime minister Ruud Lubbers, will be informed next week that their 'dream' projects are to go ahead.
In the meantime, KLM is also 'bridging the world' by naming its new fleet of seven Boeing 767-300ER aircraft (the one that replaces its Airbus A310 fleet) after world-famous bridges.
The first, due for delivery in June, will be named after the Blue Bridge which spans the River Amstel in Amsterdam.
Others will be named after Brooklyn Bridge (New York), Pont Neuf (Paris), Rialto Bridge (Venice), Sydney Harbour Bridge, Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco) and London's Tower Bridge.
KLM is also celebrating its anniversary with a revamped business class in association with Northwest Airlines.
KLM's intercontinental fleet has been equipped with satellite telephones and more telephones will be available on flights.
Every business class seat has its own telephone and tourist (economy) cabins will have between five and nine wall phones.
The airline flies four times a week between Amsterdam and Hong Kong.