The Dutch National Airline Named Its Planes After These 10 Incredible Women

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines operated the last scheduled flight of its McDonnell Douglas MD-11 airliner this month. With the conclusion of a weekend flight from Montreal to Amsterdam, all 3-engined widebody airliners have been retired from passenger service.

Due to age and poor financial performance as a passenger carrier, the tri-motor airliner has been all but relegated to cargo service; FedEx is the only major company flying them.

The last MD-11 of KLM’s fleet of 10 — christened “Audrey Hepburn” — is headed for storage in the California desert.

Audrey Hepburn was not the only accomplished woman to have an MD-11 named in her honour by the airline. In addition to the Hollywood screen icon, significant women from the field of science, music, literature, the arts, education, philanthropy, and aviation were selected by KLM.

Audrey Hepburn is a legend of the silver screen. The winner of 3 Academy Awards, Hepburn is known for her iconic roles in 'Breakfast At Tiffany's, 'Sabrina,' and 'My Fair Lady.'

Florence Nightingale is the mother of modern nursing. The KLM MD-11 named after her was delivered to the airline in 1994.

Maria Montessori was an Italian physician and pioneering educator. KLM's MD-11 named after her is headed for storage along with her sister planes.

Amy Johnson was a British aviation pioneer. Her life was cut short in a plane crash in 1941. The KLM airliner named after her (registration PH-KCA) was retired in August.

Marie Curie is the only person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in 2 different fields of science. The MD-11 named after her (registration PH-KCC) was retired in October 2013.

Anna Pavlova was one of the most significant ballerinas of the 20th century. She's credited with the creation of the 'Dying Swan.'

Maria Callas was one of the most renowned and accomplished opera sopranos of the last century. The KLM MD-11 that bore her name flew for almost 20 years.

Annie Romein was an award-winning Dutch writer and historian. The MD-11 christened in her honour spent 2 decades in the skies.

Mother Theresa was a Roman Catholic missionary, winner of the Nobel Peace, known for her work with the poor and needy in India.

Ingrid Bergman was a 3-time Academy Award winner know best for her role opposite Humphrey Bogart in 'Casablanca.' The MD-11 named for her entered service with KLM in 1997 was retired last year.

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