65 Facts About Air France


Air France was formed on 7 October 1933 from a merger of Air Orient, Air Union, Compagnie Generale Aeropostale, Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aerienne, and Societe Generale de Transport Aerien.

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Air France operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing widebody jets on long-haul routes, and uses Airbus A320 family aircraft on short-haul routes.

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Air France introduced the A380 on 20 November 2009 with service to New York City's JFK Airport from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport.

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Air France Hop operates the majority of its regional domestic and European scheduled services with a fleet of regional jet aircraft.

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Air France was formed on 7 October 1933, from a merger of Air Orient, Air Union, Compagnie Generale Aeropostale, Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aerienne and Societe Generale des Transports Aeriens.

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The constituent members of Air France had already built extensive networks across Europe, to French colonies in North Africa and farther afield.

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In 1936, Air France added French-built twin engine Potez 62 aircraft to its fleet featuring a two compartment cabin that could accommodate 14 to 16 passengers.

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On 1 July 1946, Air France started direct flights between Paris and New York via refuelling stops at Shannon and Gander.

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In September 1947 Air France's network stretched east from New York, Fort de France and Buenos Aires to Shanghai.

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In 1952 Air France moved its operations and engineering base to the new Orly Airport South terminal.

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Air France entered the jet age in August 1953, flying the original, short-lived de Havilland Comet series 1A Paris-Rome-Beirut.

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The following day Air France was instructed to share African routes with Air Afrique and UAT.

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Air France later became an early Boeing 747 operator and eventually had one of the world's largest Boeing 747 fleets.

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Air France was to withdraw services to West Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, Libya in North Africa, Bahrain and Oman in the Middle East, Sri Lanka in South Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore in Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand as well as New Caledonia and Tahiti.

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In 1974 Air France began shifting the bulk of operations to the new Charles de Gaulle Airport north of Paris.

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In 1974, Air France became the world's first operator of the Airbus A300 twin-engine widebody plane, Airbus Industrie's first commercial airliner for which it was a launch customer.

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On 21 January 1976, Air France operated its inaugural supersonic transport service on the Paris to Rio route with Anglo-French BAC-Aerospatiale Concorde F-BVFA.

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Air France became one of only two airlines – British Airways being the other – to regularly operate supersonic services, and continued daily transatlantic Concorde service until late May 2003.

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Air France codeshared with regional French airlines, TAT being the most prominent.

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In 1983 Air France began passenger flights to South Korea, being the first European airline to do so.

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Air France responded by extending some non-stop Paris-Los Angeles services to Papeete, Tahiti, which competed with UTA on Los Angeles-Papeete.

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UTA's ability to secure traffic rights outside its traditional sphere in competition with Air France was the result of a campaign to lobby the government to enable it to grow faster, becoming more dynamic and more profitable.

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In 1988, Air France was a launch customer for the fly-by-wire A320 narrowbody twin, along with Air Inter and British Caledonian.

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Air France–KLM became the largest airline in the world in terms of operating revenues, and third-largest in passenger kilometres.

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Air France–KLM remained part of the SkyTeam alliance, which then included Aeroflot, Delta Air Lines, Aeromexico, Korean Air, Czech Airlines, Alitalia, Northwest Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air Europa, Continental Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Vietnam Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines.

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On 12 January 2012, Air France-KLM announced a three-year transformation plan, called Transform 2015, to restore profitability.

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At the beginning of July 2012, it was announced that Air France-KLM found partners for the new African start-up airline Air France, which was co-founded by six countries in Central Africa to replace the former Air Afrique.

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In September 2013, Air France introduced a brand new Economy product along with an improved Premium Economy seat and service.

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In December 2013, Air France announced that Cityjet no longer meets the short haul needs of the group and is in the process of closing a deal with German firm Intro Aviation by the end of Q1 of 2014.

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Late in 2015, Air France faced a financial crisis, which was exacerbated by a pilot's strike against the airline.

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In July 2017, Air France-KLM entered into a multi-airline strategic partnership with Delta Air Lines, China Eastern Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, solidifying the existing ties between the carriers.

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Air France announced it would terminate services to Iran from September 2018, explaining the concern that the route to Iran is no longer commercially viable due to the redefined US sanctions.

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About 30 years prior to December 1995, Air France's headquarters were located in a tower adjacent to the Gare Montparnasse rail station in the Montparnasse area and the 15th arrondissement of Paris.

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Air France's United States offices are in the 125 West 55th Street building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.

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Air France first signed a lease to occupy the building in 1991.

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Air France Cite PN, located at Charles de Gaulle Airport, acts as the airline's crew base.

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Air France operates the Air France Vaccinations Centre in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

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On 28 August 1959 Air France opened a ticket and information agency in the former air terminal in Invalides, targeting transit passengers and customers from offices and companies in the Invalides area.

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Livery of Air France Asie differed from that of Air France by having blue and white stripes on the tailfin, rather than blue, white and red ones, representing the French Tricolour.

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Air France Asie ceased operations in 2004 while Air France Cargo Asie ceased operations in 2007.

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In 2010 Air France migrated from an internally managed Passenger service system that manages reservation, inventory and pricing to an external system managed by Amadeus.

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Air France's present livery is a "Eurowhite" scheme, comprising a white fuselage with the blue Air France title and design.

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The engines have the old Air France logo painted on, however that has only happened on recent aircraft.

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In 2017, Air France received their first Boeing 787 with a revised livery which included larger Air France titles.

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In 2019, Air France revised the livery with the arrival of the Airbus A350, with blue winglets featuring the hippocampe aile.

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Air France has used different popular music groups for its marketing and on-board ambience, ranging from The Chemical Brothers in 1999 to Telepopmusik in 2010.

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Air France launched a new ad campaign in 2015 designed by BETC and directed by We Are From LA, focusing on French culture.

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Air France has a strong presence at Paris-Orly, Lyon-Saint-Exupery, Marseilles Provence, Toulouse Blagnac, Nice Cote d'Azur and Bordeaux-Merignac airports.

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On 16 September 2011, Air France-KLM announced orders for 50 Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s with 60 options, to be operated by both Air France and KLM.

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In June 2019 the group announced a revision of the original order with Air France becoming the sole operator of the Airbus A350, with KLM only operating Boeing 787s, including six originally earmarked for Air France.

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Air France operates a fleet of all four variants of the Airbus A320 ceo family aircraft with a total of 114 jets.

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Air France would have to cut emission by half by 2024 for flights within mainland France as part of conditions of a €7 billion state support from France.

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Five Air France Concordes were retired on 31 May 2003, as a result of insufficient demand following the 25 July 2000 crash of AF Concorde F-BTSC, at Gonesse, as well as higher fuel and maintenance costs.

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Air France offers a mix of three and four cabin configurations for international long haul routes, featuring La Premiere, Business, Premium Economy and Economy.

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Air France is planning to offer La Premiere on selected new Airbus A350 aircraft, which could be delivered as early as 2023.

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Air France has released a brand new business class product, the seat is a Zodiac Aerospace Cirrus and is designed by Mark Collins of Design Investment, specialized in the world of high-end transportation and by the design and branding agency, Brandimage.

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The seat converts into a fully flat bed with 180 degrees recline, it features a touchscreen remote control, USB port, universal electrical outlet, new noise cancelling headphones, privacy screen, an Air France signature padded headboard, ample storage space, adjustable headrest, and a duvet with XXL feather down pillow.

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Air France is one of the few airlines who features winged headrests on short-to-medium-haul aircraft in both classes.

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On most aircraft, Air France offers extra-legroom seats in economy called Seat Plus.

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Air France has introduced a brand-new economy long-haul product which features a new slimline seat providing up to an inch more legroom, wider table, universal electrical sockets, retractable armrests, winged leather headrests, more storage space, high-definition 10-inch screens featuring the latest in-flight entertainment with a USB port, a headphones holder, and newly designed pillows featuring different patterns of the Air France logo.

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On long-haul flights, Air France serves complimentary champagne and drinks to passengers in all classes.

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Air France offers Audio Video on Demand in all cabins on all long haul aircraft.

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Air France lounges are known as Le Salon, and are open to La Premiere, Business, and Premium Economy passengers, as well as Flying Blue Gold, Flying Blue Platinum, SkyTeam Elite and Elite Plus members.

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On 14 November 2008, Air France released the first picture of an Airbus A320 that had been repainted in the full 1946 paint scheme to celebrate the airline's 75th anniversary.

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Air France has been involved in a number of major accidents and incidents.

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