Air France is one of the world's great airlines. It is a French institution with its own unique style, part of the fabric of the country and well as being the national flag carrier. This history of Air France, published in the year of the 75th anniversary of its foundation, is as much a slice of French social history as it is an aviation title and as such, should appeal to a much wider audience than many aviation books. Following the take-over by Air France of KLM in 2004, the combined company is the largest airline in the world in terms of operating revenue and the largest in Europe in terms of passenger mileage. Formed in October 1933 as a result of the merger of a number of smaller French airlines, Air France became state-owned after World War 2, and the French state still has a significant stake in the newly combined Air France/KLM business.Over the years, Air France has flown a considerable variety of aircraft, including the De Havilland Comet, the Vickers Viscount and the Sud Aviation Caravelle, but, as with British Airways, the airline will always be associated with Concorde and the great age of supersonic transatlantic flying.
This book will provide a full history of the airline and the development of Air France in terms of its aircraft and the also the routes which it operates, but it will also explore the social aspects of the airline and how it has come over the years to represent France in a much more overt way than many flag carriers and present itself as a symbol of the style and culture of the country. Also recorded are the many airlines that were associates or part of the make up of Air France in recent years and the diverse aircraft types and airlines that provide the current national and sometimes international feeds to AF's main hubs at Paris Charles De Gaulle and Orly, and Lyon.