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Air France

Air France (AFR, Compagnie Nationale Air France) is the national airline of France. The company transported 43.3 million passengers and earned 12.53 billion Euro in revenues between April 2001 and March 2002. It has routes to 296 cities in 85 countries and employs over 64,000 people. It is part of the Skyteam Alliance[?] with Delta, Aeromexico, Korean Air[?], Czech Airlines[?] and Alitalia.

The company fleet consists of around 245 aircraft, 100 from Boeing (mainly long haul) and 141 from Airbus as well as five Concordes.

Air France A320-200 (F-GJVE)
Larger version

Founded on August 30, 1933 through the merger of Air Orient, Compagnie Générale Aéropostale[?], Société Générale de Transport Aérien (SGTA, the first French carrier, founded as Lignes Aériennes Farman in 1919), Air Union and CIDNA (Compagnie Internationale de Navigation). The airline had extensive routes across Europe, but also to French colonies in northern Africa and elsewhere.

The company was nationalized in 1946, Compagnie Nationale Air France was created by an parliamentary act on June 16, 1948. The government held 70% of the new company and still (mid-2002) holds a 54% stake in the airline.

In 1949 the company was one of the founders of SITA (Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques). The airline used the De Havilland Comet for a short while from 1953, but soon replaced them with Viscounts and in 1959 the company started widespread use of the SE-210 Caravelle[?]. It graduated to the use of Boeing aircraft, but as a national European carrier it became involved with Airbus from 1974. First available in 1976, the airline operates the unique Concorde SST supersonic airliner, using it on the Paris-Charles de Gaulle[?] to New York route as well as a number of other routes (the other routes were cut in 1982).

Hijackings: 1973 Marseille; 1976 Benghazi (Entebbe[?]) and Ho Chi Minh City; 1977 Benghazi; 1983 Geneva; 1984 Geneva twice; 1989 Algiers; 1993 Nice; 1994 Algiers; 1999 Paris.

Current fleet

On order:

  • Airbus A380 10
  • Boeing 747 2
  • Boeing 777 13
  • Airbus A330 10
  • Airbus A320 20 (Includes A318, A319 & A321.)

(As of 2002.)

See also: List of French companies



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