Friday, October 3, 2008

Air France celebrates its 75th Anniversary on 7 October 2008

Air France is celebrating its 75th anniversary on 7 October 2008, commemorating its rise, since it was founded in 1933, to the position of one of the word’s greatest and most prestigious airlines.

Two books will be published to mark this occasion:

- the first, written by Philippe-Michel Thibault and Anaïs Leclerc, published by Gallimard as part of its prestigious Decouvertes collection, retraces 75 years of the Air France story; (128 pages, 12.50 euros). The book has been on sale since 2 October 2008.

- the second presents 75 recipes from Guy Martin, Head Chef of the prestigious Paris restaurant, Le Grand Véfour, and creator of the l’Espace Première menus of Air France since 2004. The book will be on sale as from 9 October 2008 in the Beaux Livres collection, published by Cherche Midi (176 pages, 49 euros).

► Until 31 December 2008, Air France will be advertising on the façade of the Grand Palais: a canvas cover of 540 sq.m. advertising Air France has been installed on the 6,000 sq.m. of scaffolding on the façade of the Grand Palais facing the Seine and undergoing renovation work.

► Every week, since 14 August 2008, Air France has been screening 10 video films on its corporate website, each one recounting a chapter of the airline’s history. The films combine scenes from the past and the present.

Programme until 24 October 2008:

The Air France fleet
Life on board
Pilots and ”Flight attendants
Ramp activity
Sales Force”
“Cargo” from 3 to 10 October 2008
“Airports” from 10 to 17 October 2008
Air France Yesterday and Today” from 17 to 24 October 2008

► Furthermore, the website recounts the entire history of Air France through images from the archives.

Over time, Air France has embodied the image of an innovative, groundbreaking company. In the face of political and economic uncertainties, it has always been able to adapt so as to take an active part in the changing landscape of air transport.

In the 1950s, Air France boasted the longest network in the world, and in the 1960s, it incorporated the first jets in its fleet, such as the Caravelle and Boeing 707. In 1970, Air France was one of the first airlines to put the world’s biggest passenger aircraft into service, the Boeing 747.

In the 1990s, Air France overcame a tough operating environment by setting up the Paris-Charles de Gaulle hub, streamlining its network and fleet and reworking its ground and inflight products.

In the early 2000s, Air France weathered a series of crises which hit the air transport sector, such as the 9/11 attacks and the SARS epidemic in Asia.

In 2004, Air France and KLM merged to become the world’s leading airline by revenue. This merger heralded the restructuring of the European airline business.

Over time, Air France has also developed the image of an airline embodying the French lifestyle: cabin comfort and design, gourmet meals and designer tableware, discreet and attentive inflight service, and elegant flight attendants with uniforms designed by Dior, Balenciaga and even Christian Lacroix.

Facts and figures :

  • Number of Air France aircraft:

- 1933: 259 aircraft

- 2007-2008: 411 aircraft

  • Number of passengers carried:

- 1933: 52,100

- 2007-2008: 75 million (Air France and KLM)

  • Example of the FranceSaigon route:

- 1933: from Marseille to Beirut by the Cams 53 seaplane via Naples, Corfu, Athens and Castelrosso. From Beirut to Damascus by car. From Damascus to Baghdad by Breguet 284 T, and finally by Fokker VII to Saigon with stops in Djask, Karachi, Jodhpur, Allahabad, Calcutta, Rangoon, Angkor and Bangkok. The trip lasted 10 days!

- 2008: direct Paris-Ho Chi Minh City flight with one stop in Bangkok. Flight time: 14 hours and 30 minutes.


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