Air France is the French national airline. This company has transported 43.3 million passengers and had a profit of 12.53 billion euros between April 2001 and March 2002. It has routes to and from 345 cities in 85 countries and employs more than 64000 employees. It is part of the SkyTeam alliance with Aeromexico, Air Europa, Alitalia, CSA Czech Airlines, Delta Korean Air, and KLM. In the year 2004, Air France stood as the number one European airline, with 18% of all the passengers on the continent.
The French airline was founded on 30 August 1933, a product of the merger of Air Orient, Compagnie Générale Aeropostale, the Société Générale de Transport Aérien Transrégional (SGTA, the first French line, founded in 1919), and Air Union and CIDNA (Compagnie Internationale de Navigation). The airline has numerous routes across Europe, but also flies to the former French colonies in North Africa as well as other destinations.
The company was nationalized in 1946 creating the Compagnie Nationale Air France in a parliamentary act on June 16 1948. The government held 70% of the new company and still (as of mid-2002) has a 54% stake in the airline. On 4 August 1948, Max Hymans was appointed president of Air France. In his thirteen year tenure at the helm, he implemented a policy of modernization based on jet aircraft, more specifically the Sud Aviation Caravelle and the Boeing 707.
As far as their logo is concerned, in 1949 the airline participated in the founding of the SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques). It used the De Havilland Comet for a short period of time in 1953. But in 1959, the company began to use the elegant Sud Aviation Caravelle.
In 1976, the airline started to use the only supersonic airliner Concorde SST in a trial from Charles de Gaulle Airport to New York and other routes such as Paris – Caracas Venezuela. The Concorde was one of only two commercial passenger supersonic aircraft. It traveled the distance between Paris and New York in just three hours and 20 minutes (at about twice the speed of sound).
On 31 May 2003, all of the Concorde were withdrawn from circulation simultaneously by Air France and British Airways due to weak demand, a result of the disaster of 2000. Many (if not all) of these aircraft were transferred to museums. For example, the Concorde F-BVFA was transferred to the air and space museum in Washington, where it is still exhibited. F-BVFB was given to a German museum, the F-BTSD to the Air and Space museum in Paris. And finally the F-BVFC was delivered to the place where it was manufactured in Toulouse (France), the current headquarters of Airbus.
On 30 September 2003, Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, announced the merger of their two airlines, forming a new company called Air France-KLM. The owners of Air France became the 81% stakeholders of the new company, leaving the remaining 19% to the owners of KLM. This led to the participation of the French government in the company to be reduced from 54.4 % to 44 %.
Registered head office and customer service contact details for this airline’s headquarters:
45, rue de Paris
95 747 Roissy CDG Cedex
Phone: 01 41 56 78 00
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