Air France

Air France (French pronunciation: [ɛːʁ fʁɑ̃s]; formally Société Air France, S.A.), stylized as AIRFRANCE, is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France. It is a subsidiary of the Air France–KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance. As of 2013 Air France serves 36 destinations in France and operates worldwide scheduled passenger and cargo services to 168 destinations in 93 countries (including overseas departments and territories of France) and also carried 46,803,000 passengers in 2015. The airline's global hub is at Charles de Gaulle Airport with Orly Airport. Air France's corporate headquarters, previously in Montparnasse, Paris,[4] are located on the grounds of Charles de Gaulle Airport, north of Paris.

Air France was formed on 7 October 1933 from a merger of Air Orient, Air Union, Compagnie Générale Aéropostale, Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aérienne (CIDNA), and Société Générale de Transport Aérien (SGTA). During the Cold War, from 1950 until 1990, it was one of the three main Allied scheduled airlines operating in Germany at West Berlin's Tempelhof and Tegel airports. In 1990, it acquired the operations of French domestic carrier Air Inter and international rival UTA – Union de Transports Aériens. It served as France's primary national flag carrier for seven decades prior to its 2003 merger with KLM.

Between April 2001 and March 2002, the airline carried 43.3 million passengers and had a total revenue of €12.53bn. In November 2004, Air France ranked as the largest European airline with 25.5% total market share, and was the largest airline in the world in terms of operating revenue.

Air France operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing widebody jets on long-haul routes, and uses Airbus A320 family aircraft on short-haul routes. Air France introduced the A380 on 20 November 2009 with service to New York City's JFK Airport from Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport. The carrier's regional airline subsidiary, HOP!, operates the majority of its regional domestic and European scheduled services with a fleet of regional jet aircraft.[6]

On 30 September 2003, Air France and Netherlands-based KLM Royal Dutch Airlines announced the merger of the two airlines, the new company to be known as Air France-KLM. The merger became reality on 5 May 2004. At that point former Air France shareholders owned 81% of the new firm (44% owned by the French state, 37% by private shareholders), former KLM shareholders the rest. The decision of the Jean-Pierre Raffarin government to reduce the French state's shareholding in the former Air France group from 54.4% to 44% of the newly created Air France-KLM Group effectively privatised the new airline. In December 2004 the state sold 18.4% of its equity in Air France-KLM. The state's shareholding in Air France-KLM subsequently fell to just under 20%.[24]

Air France-KLM became the largest airline in the world in terms of operating revenues, and third-largest (largest in Europe) in passenger kilometres.[24] Although owned by a single company, Air France and KLM continued to fly under their own brand names. Air France-KLM remained part of the SkyTeam alliance, which then included Aeroflot, Delta Air Lines, Aeroméxico, Korean Air, Czech Airlines, Alitalia, Northwest Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air Europa, Continental Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Vietnam Airlines and Saudi Arabian Airlines. As of March 2004, Air France employed 71,654 people.[25] As of March 2007, the airline employed 102,422 personnel.[24]

Air France offers Audio Video on Demand (AVOD) in all cabins on all long haul aircraft. The in flight entertainment system features multiple channels of video, audio, music, and games. Air France Magazine, the airline's in-flight publication, is included at each seat, and Air France Madame, a fashion luxury magazine with a feminine perspective, is included in La Première and Business cabins and lounges.[124] On all flights, all films may be watched in English, Spanish, and French. Selected films on all flights are also available in Chinese, Japanese, Hindi, and Korean. The airline offers Berlitz International language courses via the in-flight entertainment system.[125]

On 29 May 2013, KLM and Air France launched a pilot to test inflight Wi-Fi. Both airlines have equipped one Boeing 777-300ER of each of their fleets with Wi-Fi. Using the inflight Wi-Fi, passengers can stay online using their Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, laptops, or tablets. Wireless service will commence once the flight has reached 20,000 feet.[126]