Air FranceAir France is a subsidiary of Air France-KLM and was the national airline of Frances before the merger with KLM. The airline has headquarters at Charles de Gaulle International Airport. Between April 2001 and March 2002, Air France transported 43.3 million passengers and earned 12.53 billion Euros. Another subsidiary of Air France is Regional, a local company that operates regional jet and turboprop flights within Europe.
The merger between Air France and the Dutch-owned KLM took placed in May 2004 creating the new company, Air France-KLM. It is the largest airline in the world when it comes to operating revenue and the third largest for passengers and distance that it travels. The airline is part of the SkyTeam Alliance consisting of Aeroflot, Delta Air Lines, Aeromexico, Korean Air, Czech Airlines, Alitalia, Northwest Airlines and Continental Airlines. In spite of the merger, both Air France and KLM fly under their distinct brand names.
Air France was originally founded in 1933 through a merger of Air Orient, Compagnie Generale, Aeropostale, Sciete Generale de Transport Aerien, Air Union, and CIDNA. There were extensive routes across Europe and to French colonies in northern Africa and other destinations. During World War II, the airline moved its operations to Casablanca, Morocco where it was also featured in the film Casablanca.
In 1976, Air France began operating the Concorde SST supersonic airliner that could travel from Paris to New York in under 3-1/2 hours, twice the speed of sound. The five Concordes were withdrawn in May 2003 because of insufficient demand following the Air France Concorde accident in 2000 and higher fuel and maintenance costs.
Cheap air fare to France depends upon when you book the flight as well as when you travel during the week. Even for Air France Europe travel, fares are likely to be cheaper during low travel seasons and during certain days of the week, customarily Monday through Thursday. Like other airlines, Air France fares are contingent upon how heavily booked the airline is, with summer commanding the highest fares. Travelers who wish to travel at the lowest costs and can accommodate travel at other times of the year can save a great deal on air travel with Air France if they schedule travel when deep discounts are available.