Dutch king reveals secret job as KLM pilot

The King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander, has revealed to a Dutch newspaper that he has been living a secret life as a co-pilot, and regularly flying commercial flights during his reign.

Prior to that he piloted planes for Dutch carrier Martinair.

He's stepping away from co-piloting flights on the airline's fleet of Fokker 70 planes for the moment, and is now retraining to fly Boeing 737s because the airline is phasing out the Fokkers.

For the past 21 years, the avid aviator has worked shifts twice a month in smaller Fokker 70 jets.

Their King, Willem-Alexander, ascended the Dutch throne in 2013 after his mother, Beatrix, abdicated saying it was time for the throne to be held by "a new generation". He says that he has no plans to learn how to fly bigger aircraft such as jumbos because he "cannot get back in time to the Netherlands in case of an emergency". You can not take your problems from the ground with you in the sky.

“For me the most important thing is that I have a hobby for which I need to concentrate completely. For the King flying is a hobby, in which he sees the opportunity to "disengage and concentrate on something else". "That, for me, is the most relaxing part of flying", he said.

In Britain, the Duke of Cambridge is just finishing off a stint as an air ambulance helicopter pilot, his brother Prince Harry served in Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter co-pilot and their uncle Prince Andrew was a Royal Navy helicopter pilot during the Falklands War.

Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah also reportedly sometimes slips into the cockpit while flying on state visits. That said, they didn't know how often he did it-and most of the time, passengers didn't even notice the king's presence behind closed cockpit doors, or recognize his voice over the intercom. "Then I don't have to give my name". "So I don't have to say my own name".

He admits, however, that when he does make announcements, "most people don't listen anyway".

  • Leroy Wright