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  Wikipedia: Air France

Wikipedia: Air France
Air France
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Air France (AFR, Compagnie Nationale Air France) is the national airline of France with the IATA designation: AF. 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 240 aircraft, 100 from Boeing (mainly long haul) and 141 from Airbus. Five Concordes were withdrawn from use early in 2003.

History

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, and Compagnie Nationale Air France was created by a 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. On August 4, 1948, Max Hymans was appointed president of Air France. During his thirteen years at the helm, he implemented a modernisation policy based on jet aircraft, specifically the Sud Aviation Caravelle and the Boeing 707.

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 Vickers Viscounts and in 1959 the company started widespread use of the elegant twin-jet Sud Aviation Caravelle. It graduated to the use of Boeing aircraft, but as a national European carrier it became committed to Airbus designs from 1974. First available in 1976, the airline operated 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 (those other routes were dropped in 1982).

In 1994, a group of men from the Algerian group GIA hijacked Air France Flight 8969, and intended to crash it into the Eiffel Tower. French commandos intervened and successfully prevented an incident from occuring.

On July 25, 2000, Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City crashed in Gonesse. Everyone on board died, as did four people on the ground.

On September 30, 2003, Air France and Netherlands-based KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, announced the merging of the two airlines, forming a new company to be known as Air France-KLM. Air France shareholders will own 81 per cent of the new firm, while KLM shareholders will hold the rest. The French government's share of Air France will be reduced from 54.4 per cent to 44 per cent.

On December 24 of that year, three Air France flights bound for LAX International Airport in Los Angeles were cancelled because of fears that terrorist group members would board one of them.

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

External link


  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona