Martinair is an airline headquartered on the grounds of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, the Netherlands. It operates passenger and cargo services to over 50 destinations worldwide. Services are largely on a scheduled basis, but charter services are also operated. Its main base is Schiphol Airport.
The airline was founded on 24 May 1958 as Martin's Air Charter (MAC), by J. Martin Schröder, with one aircraft, a de Havilland Dove and five employees. In 1963 Mr. Schröder sold 49% of the company to four equal shipping company shareholders (12.25% each, these eventually combining as Nedlloyd). KLM would later purchase the 50+% that Mr. Schröder owned, buying him out. The name was changed to Martinair Holland in 1966. A healthy boost came in 1967 with the opening of business to the United States. Martinair became all jet-powered in 1971.
In 1991, the first aircraft with the "Martinair Cargo" name was introduced, and "Holland" was dropped from all aircraft. In 1996, Martinair bought a 40% stake in Colombian cargo carrier TAMPA Cargo, based in Medellín, which it increased to 58% in 2003. The share in TAMPA was sold in February 2008 to Avianca, a Colombian company.
Martinair President and CEO Martin Schröder, who received the Tony Jannus Award in 1995 for his contributions to commercial aviation, retired in 1998 from day-to-day activities.
Also that year, the European Commission in Brussels refused KLM's offer to purchase Nedlloyd's shares, which would have made KLM the sole owner. In June 2007, Martinair announced that it wanted one shareholder, preferably KLM, and in 2008 permission was obtained from the European commission. The transfer of remaining shares took place on 31 December 2008..
In November 2007, Martinair ceased its short haul operations to concentrate on its cargo activities and intercontinental flights. In September 2010, a restructuring was announced: this will involve dropping all passenger services from November 2011, which will be operated by KLM, and leaving only cargo services. In November 2010, the European Commission fined Martinair €29.5 million, following an investigation into price-fixing.
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