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Each crew flying the transpolar route over the Arctic was equipped with a winter survival kit, including a 7.62 mm selective-fire AR-10 carbine for use against polar bears, in the event the plane was forced down onto the polar ice.

KLM is headquartered in Amstelveen, with its hub at nearby Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

It is part of the Air France–KLM group, and is a member of the Sky Team airline alliance.

The airline previously operated DC-8 passenger and freight combi aircraft as well and currently operates Boeing 747-400 combi aircraft.

The oil crisis of 1973, which caused difficult economic conditions, led KLM to seek government assistance in arranging debt refinancing.

KLM was founded in 1919; it is the oldest airline in the world still operating under its original name and had 35,488 employees as of 2015 In 1919, a young aviator lieutenant named Albert Plesman sponsored the ELTA aviation exhibition in Amsterdam.

The exhibition was a great success; after it closed several Dutch commercial interests intended to establish a Dutch airline, which Plesman was nominated to head.

The conversion to jet aircraft placed a further financial burden on KLM.

The Netherlands government increased its ownership of the company to two-thirds, thus nationalizing it.

registration G-EALU, which was carrying two British journalists and some newspapers.

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