The KNILM (Royal Netherlands East-Indies Aviation Company) was an independent corporation in which KLM Netherlands had a share but, much to KLM Management’s chagrin, no controlling interest.
At the beginning of ‘The Java Gold’ the KNILM network covered all Indonesian Islands, some foreign destinations such as Singapore and Saigon, plus a long distance route to Sydney.
Linked up with the twice-a-week KLM service to Amsterdam, the Sydney line created the longest scheduled airline in the world at that time.
At the end of WW2, an attempt was made to resurrect KNILM but Albert Plesman, KLM’s autocratic boss, ruthlessly killed the idea. Between 1947 and 1950 the routes were flown by what was known as the KLM Interinsular Service. This company and its assets were taken over by Garuda Indonesian Airways after Indonesia’s independence.