On the exact day that the Dutch DDA – Classic Airlines celebrates it 30th birthday (March 10th 2012) it unfolded its new organization and future plans. During the presentation held inside the old control tower at Schiphol East airport, new pleasure flights and cabin attendant's uniforms were revealed.
Speaking to the assembled DDA members, Dutch and International press, ex chairman Anne Cor Groenenveld held a vibrant speech on the early stages of the Dutch Dakota Association, which began on the10th March 1992. On that exact date he registered the DDA and set up office in the old-control tower and the adjacent Brainbox bar above the old passenger terminal. He highlighted the up and down throughout that period. Noting the crash of DDA first DC-3 PH-DDA ,which crashed near the Island of Texel with the loss of passengers and crewmember on the 25th Septembers 1996, plus the purchase of other fleet members, including a one of kind DC-2, DC-3 and two Douglas DC-4 Skymaster'sHe also commended the numerous DDA professional volunteers and free-lance workers, who made the DDA Classic Airlines to a fully grown organization what it is today. The DDA moved to Lelystad airport and was integrated with the Aviodrome Museum two years ago. Due to the financial troubles and sudden closure of the Aviodrome last year November, the DDA has detached itself again and will continue onwards as an independent entity, operating two historic Douglas DC-3s.
Next speaker was Mr Coert Munk; talked about the new organization, which will consist of Feije Jaski (marketing and communications), Harry Haas (account manager), Coert Munk (organization/finances) and heading the administration department will be Nelie Fillerup and Anneke van der Berg. Coert also talked the current status and future long-term plans for the DDA Classic Airlines. Lelystad will remain its main base; there is already a maintenance hanger available, which is shared with the Dutch PBY Catalina. Main focus for 2012 will be air-show trips, pleasure flights, city trips and corporate flights. Each flight must be profitable. To reach that goal DDA Classic Airlines must fly a minimum of 1500 passengers this year. He also mentioned that over the course of 30 years many passengers had flown onboard a DC-3 or DC-4. During 2012 DDA Classic Airlines will likely greet its 100.000st passenger!
Back in the early days the Dutch Dakota Association (DDA) started out with a single DC-3 and has grown into a full-fledged airline of vintage Douglas DC-3s, which are operated in accordance to the highest professional standard (EASA OPS). It can claim to be the oldest and only airline in Europe that offers vintage nostalgic DC-3 flights. 2012 will focus on having more pleasure flight from different Dutch airports, such as Rotterdam, Groningen, Maastricht…ect There will be more flights to international destinations such as Belgium, Germany and the UK. Main theme for the month of April will be local sight-seeing flights over the tulip fields, and the flower exhibition at the Keukenhof. They will be departing from Schiphol International airport.
After the official speeches it was time for a champagne toast en lunch. Then it was back to the presentation of the new cabin attendant's uniforms. The show started with several stewardesses presenting the previous uniforms models dated from the early days (1984), when DDA began flying its first DC-3. The second uniform dates back from 1987. At the DC-3 50th anniversary DDA introduced its 3rd uniform, which consisted of a blue dress, white and red accents and was styled to represent the early aviation vintage look. The current new red uniforms were donated by Martinair and DDA Classic Airlines pays tribute to the founder Martin Schroder of Martinair and Martin Air Charter (MAC). The uniforms are a new design, consisting of a short skirt, long jacket and an open blouse which was created by Erny van Reijmersdal en Oger. This design received a Fashion award in the category corporate clothing. 30 years Anniversary Flight
30 years Anniversary Flight
At around 14.00 hours the press was rushed outside and told to meet at the nearby new General Aviation VIP terminal for a special flight, celebrating the 30th birthday of the DDA Classic airlines. Douglas DC-3 PH-DDZ was already moved from the hangar and awaited its passengers. A week prior DDA had been conducting a 3-day pilot training session in Germany, getting all the pilots up to speed for the 2012 flying season. The local weather above Schiphol was vastly improving and the go-ahead was given to board the DC-3. At the aircraft we were greeted by cabin attendant Cathelijne Nelis and Ingrid van Diepen. Inside the cockpit Captain Tom van Hoorn and Captain Nanne Dijkstra were already running through the before engine start checklist. Once all the jolly passengers found there seats there was a short cabin briefing and engines started. Off we went ….we departed from runway 22 and made a sharp right-hand turn flying low over Schiphol International massive terminal area and we skirted the city of Haarlem and then making a right-hand turn for a short circuit over the city of Amsterdam…before we lined up to land again at Schiphol. 25 minutes later we where safely back on the cool windswept ramp. A nice ending for the day, hopefully the DDA Classic Airlines may well greet you in one of its immaculate DC-3. For more info see also: www.dutchdakota.com
Special thanks to DDA – Paul van der Berg & Jan Willem de Wijn
|DDA Classic Airlines by the numbers:|
|Total time DDA owned aircraft 151.000 hours (nonstop 17 year in the air)|
|Total DDA flight hours almost 4.000 hours|
|Passenger flown 99.700 (in 30 years time)|
|Kilometres flown 926.856 (which is 23 times around the globe)|
|Numbers of used a/c engines 24 including 9 changes|
|Fuel consumption 1.482.000 litres AvGas100LL|
|Oil consumption 75.000 litres|
|Spark plugs 3.800 unscrewed for inspection|
|Tires used 40+|
|Countries visited 12 (18 including ferry flights) Longest DDA passenger flight DC-4 to Sion CH (2000), Pisa and Nice|
|Longest DDA sponsor flight DC-3 to Rome (2011)|
|Longest ferry flight two DC-4s from South Africa|
|DC-3 ferry from Malta|
|Sponsors 40+ (incl. KLM and Martinair)|
|Membership fees 2.5 million euro total in 30 years|
|Government support nil|
|Government taxes and levies too much|
|Crew figures 40 plus pilots and 70 cabin attendants|
|Payroll staff 1|
|Members/supporters 8000 in total from the start|