Dutch King Says He’s Been Moonlighting as KLM Pilot for Decades

The Netherlands’ King Willem-Alexander dropped a bombshell in an interview published Wednesday, admitting he’s been flying as a co-pilot for airline KLM for the last 21 years. The king, who took over the throne in 2013, said he has been flying twice a month for KLM’s Cityhopper and that his place in the cockpit allowed him to keep his identity secret. Although he says he frequently greeted passengers over the in-flight intercom, he never revealed his full identity. “The advantage is that I can always say that I wish everyone a heartfelt welcome in the name of the captain and the crew. So I don’t have to say my own name. But most of the people don’t listen anyway,” he was cited as saying by De Telegraaf. His training as a pilot is no secret, but it wasn’t previously known that he has been regularly taking a place behind the controls of a commercial airline. The 50-year-old king is so devoted to flying he said he plans to begin training to fly a Boeing 737 so he can continue co-piloting for KLM once the airline retires its fleet of the aircraft he currently flies on.