Window on Canada
KLM's new Crown Lounge in Toronto
December 1, 2004 was a landmark for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Toronto, as it hosted a reception to mark the official opening of its new Business Class Lounge, The Crown Lounge, at Lester B. Pearson International Airport’s Terminal 3.
The new lounge will transform the sometimes-stressful process of contemporary international travel into a pleasant experience by offering access to all international passengers, travelling on KLM, Air France and its SkyTeam partner airlines, “regardless of class of service or fare paid, for a nominal fee”… a concept “first of its kind in Toronto”, said Karan Deswal, Director Ground Services Canada and Northern Unites States for KLM.
Jan Hesseling, the Consul General of The Netherlands in Toronto, cut a beautiful cake in front of over hundred invited guests, including GTAA President and CEO, John Kaldeway, other GTAA officials, KLM, Air France and Northwest staff, to officially declare open the Crown Lounge.
The Consul General remarked that KLM “had a long tradition of innovation and thinking ahead of others, which spans from the legendary regular service between Amsterdam and the Dutch East Indies before the war, the partnership with Northwest Airlines, its tradition in flying the most modern equipment on the market and now the state-of-the-art new Business Class Lounge.
“Although KLM has merged with Air France a couple of months ago, we, Dutch, still feel very proud of our Swan Airline and the service, quality and reliability it stands for. The fact that Her Majesty Queen Beatrix has allowed KLM to continue the use of the title, ‘Royal’, in its name despite the merger shows that others in the Netherlands think likewise”, ha added.
Jan Willem Smeulers, Vice President, Executive Office, North America, Maarten Stienen, General Manager Outstations for the Americas, and John Drpich, Director Ground Services Americas, represented KLM.
John Kaldeway, GTAA President and CEO, touched on his Dutch background and spoke of his long-standing relationship with KLM.
Jan Willem Smeulers thanked Karan Deswal for making “the Crown Lounge a reality and for his untiring focus making it a very functional lounge… only 3 minutes away from KLM’s departure gate.” He joined Maarten Stienen in congratulating Karan Deswal and his staff on their accomplishments.
Karan Deswal thanked John Drpich, Director of Ground Services for the Americas for “his constant support and encouragement throughout the project.”
There are individual workstations each equipped with electrical outlets and wireless Internet connection. A printer, copier and fax machine are also provided free of charge to the passengers. Public telephones are located throughout the lounge.
Passengers have access to a self-service buffet and drinks.
KLM Toronto has been presented,
several times, with the Five
Crown Award, a
performance award given in recognition to a station, on KLM’s
worldwide network, which has met all their performance targets in the
areas of punctuality, customer service and baggage handling.
KLM celebrated its 85th birthday in October 2004. Earlier on September 15, 2004, it joined the second ranking alliance of the world, SkyTeam. On June 1, 2004, with the merger of Air France and KLM – the first time that a European national airline has merged with another European flag carrier - Europe's leading airline group was formed. KLM and AF operate a daily flight from Toronto to Amsterdam and Paris.