Flights with Air France:

An overview of Air France

image of air franceAir France was formed by the merging of four transport companies of French origin and Aeropostale, the then carrier of airmail. The airline officially came into being on the 7th of October 1933 at the Le Bourget airport and had a total of 259 aircrafts to its name. Air France acquired its logo from the emblem of Air Orient, which is a seahorse with wings.

By the year 1945, the civil aviation industry of France was nationalised and the responsibility of the entire air transportation network of France was handed over to Air France making it the flag carrier for the country. The Paris – New York route was inaugurated in July of 1946. Modernisation soon followed and like the luxury ocean liners, “The Parisian Special” that linked Paris and New York had on board champagne, gourmet meals and private cabins.

The Boeing 707 and the Caravelle were added to the Air France fleet between 1959 and 1960, cutting travel times by half. In 1974, Air France shifted its base to Charles de Gaulle airport. It was during this time that Air France also branched off into cargo operations, which proved to be a great success. Air France launched the state of the art Concorde in 1976.

The 1990s were a witness to various mergers between Air France and other carriers, the latest being the merger with KLM that took place during the early 2000s. The airline also became a member of the SkyTeam alliance to ensure a wider range of destinations to its passengers.

Today Air France has three main areas of business: Passengers, being the most important and the biggest, followed by cargo and then aircraft maintenance. The airline sports Europe’s most modern fleet comprising of more than 389 aircrafts, of which two thirds are owned and the balance of one third is leased.

Air France is constantly working at coming up with innovative solutions for its airline customers. Besides the usual internet services like booking your flights and checking in online, Air France also offers facilities such as ‘smartboarding’ where passengers do not need to wait in a line for security check, baggage tracking through a microchip, and staying in touch with the world through mobile phones while on a flight.

Over and above these services, Air France is also committed to excellence. Flight punctuality is a top most priority for them.

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Globe Trotting with Air France :

Air France Alliance As a SkyTeam Alliance member, Air France operates flights out of South Africa to all the major destinations in the world. Apart from its self operated flights, Air France also offers flights through the other members of the alliance; Aeroflot, Aeromexico, Continental, Delta, CSA Czech Airlines, Korean Air, KLM, Northwest, China Southern Airlines and Alitalia ensuring an even wider range of destinations.

Some of the destinations offered by Air France from South Africa are: France (Ajaccio, Avignon, Biarritz, Bordeaux, Clermont Ferrand, Limoges, Lourdes, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Pau, Rennes, and Toulouse); Europe (Barcelona, Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Helsinki, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Malaga, Rome, Stockholm, Venice, Vigo, Warsaw and Zagreb); North America (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto and Washington); Australia and New Zealand (Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Auckland).

In addition to these major destinations, Air France connects some of the major Asian cities to South Africa. Some of these are: Jakarta, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Osaka, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City etc.

Air France operates out of Cape Town, Durban, East London, George, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.