What Are KLM’s Delft Houses?

KLM is the world’s oldest airline, and the Dutch flag carrier celebrated its 102nd anniversary on October 7th. To mark the occasion, the operator revealed a new Delft Blue house in the form of a miniature version of Amsterdam’s famous Tuschinski Theatre.

KLM Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner PH-BKF
Proud of its heritage, KLM isn’t afraid to highlight the wonders of its country. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

A rich history

The airline’s miniature tradition traces back to around seven decades ago. Delft Blue, also known as Delftware or Delft Pottery, is a name that applies to the Netherland’s tin-glazed earthenware scene. If you haven’t heard of the term, then you are likely to have seen the related blue and white pottery when visiting Dutch cities.

KLM has been gifting Delftware to passengers since 1952. The issuance was irregular until 1994. Since then, a new miniature house has been presented each year to mark the airline’s birthday. The houses are presented to customers on all business intercontinental flights and have become a collector’s item across the globe.

The Delft Blue models are based on real houses found along the calming canals of Amsterdam. They are also sometimes replicas of other historic buildings across the Netherlands.

KLM Delft Blue
Previous miniatures include buildings that are many centuries old. Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

A suitable selection

House #102 is a miniature of the Tuschinski Theatre, which is found near Rembrandt Square. The movie theatre was founded during the Roaring Twenties, an influential period in Western society and culture. Notably, it would be this decade that witnessed KLM’s growth after its founding in the fall of 2019.

The building was commissioned by Abraham Icek Tuschinski, a businessman that opened several cinemas in the Netherlands. KLM hopes that travelers will be flocking to see attractions such as this theatre now that air travel is heading in the right direction.

“Now the world is gradually beginning to reopen, we are looking forward to taking our customers to special places of culture, such as the Tuschinski movie theatre,” KLM president and CEO Pieter Elbers shared in a statement.

“Like KLM, the Tuschinski has a long history. Abraham Tuschinski’s philosophy, creating a warm sense of home and giving customers a memorable experience, is what KLM stands for too. Tuschinski Theatre is a beautiful addition to the KLM collection of Delftware miniature houses.”

Tuschinski Theatre
Officially known as Pathé Tuschinski, the cinema opened its doors on October 28th, 1921, meaning that it will celebrate its centenary this month. Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

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National duty

KLM enthusiasts can find the largest collection of KLM Delft Blue houses in a showroom in Amstelveen. Moreover, replicas can be purchased online.

Tuschinski Theatre Delft Blue
Each miniature house is filled with jenever distilled by Bols Distilerries, the leading producer of Dutch gin. Photo: KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Altogether, these Delftware houses emphasize KLM’s pride in being the national carrier of the Netherlands. As a vessel connecting people to and from its country, the airline is creatively showcasing the nation’s culture with these miniatures.

What are your thoughts about KLM’s Delft Blue houses? Have you come across any of these miniatures on your travels over the years? Let us know what you think of the overall initiative in the comment section.