Air France is the biggest airline in France and has a long and interesting history on how the airline emerged to be such an important and major airline in France that offers flights to countries all over the world.
Air France was founded on August 30, 1933. The airline was created as the result of the merger of Compagnie Générale Aéropostale, Air Orient, Société Générale de Transport Aérien, Air Union and CIDNA. At the time, Air France had many routes across Europe as well as to French colonies in northern Africa. Air France moved its operations to Casablanca, Morocco during World War II. The Airline was actually featured in the movie ‘Casablanca.’
Following World War II, the airline company became nationalized and on January 1, 1946, Societe Nationale Air France was established. France’s parliament enacted an Act on June 16, 1948 and created Compagnie Nationale Air France. At the time, the government owned 70% of the company. In 1976, the airline started operating the Concorde SST supersonic airliner on the Paris-Charles de Gaulle to New York. It flew the Paris to New York City route in 3 hours and 20 minutes. This was twice the speed of sound.
On 12 January 1990, the government merged Air France, Air Inter, Air Charter and UTA to form the Air France Group. On September 1, 1994, Groupe Air France was established. In 1997, Air France took complete ownership of Air France Europe. On February 10, 1999, the French government partially privatised the airline. In June, 2000, the airline became a founding member of the Skyteam Alliance. In mid 2002, the government had a 54% stake in the company.
On May 31, 2003, The five Air France Concordes were retired by Air France and British Airways due to low demand after the 2000 accident as well as increased maintenance and fuel costs. On September 30, 2003, Air France and Netherlands-based KLM merged and became known as Air France-KLM. The French government’s share of Air France was decreased to 44% which privatised Air France. In December 2004 the French government sold 18.4% stake in the Air France-KLM Group which made its holdings at fewer than 20%.
Air France and KLM operate independently from their hubs in Paris and Amsterdam, but they have combined a few operations. Air France flies to about 240 destinations worldwide with a fleet of about 380 aircraft. Along with KLM, Air France extends its worldwide network as a member of the SkyTeam alliance, which also includes carriers such as Alitalia, Delta Air Lines, and Korean Air Lines.
When travelers take a flight to France, they will normally enter through the airport, Charles de Gaulle. As the airport is home to Air France, the airline offers the most intercontinental flights and is the largest airport in France. The airport servers about ten million people per year. There are many cheap flights to France. Searching online for the best deals on flights to France on Air France is one of the best ways to get a cheap flight.
By Thinex from Pixabay