Air France is one of the subsidiaries of the Air France KLM Group, the world's leading airline group in terms of its turnover. Air France-KLM is also the largest airline company in the world in terms of operating revenues and the third largest one (being largest in Europe) in terms of passengers-kilometers. The airline is also one of the founding members of the global Star Alliance of airlines. Air France has its global hub at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. Apart from that, it has secondary hubs at Paris Orly Airport, Lyon-Saint Exupéry Airport, and Nice Côte d'Azur Airport. Its corporate headquarters are located at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle, north of Paris. The slogan of Air France is "Making the sky the best place on Earth."
Air France was formed on 7th October 1933, with the merger of five airlines - Air Orient, Air Union, Compagnie Générale Aéropostale, Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aérienne (CIDNA), and Société Générale de Transport Aérien (SGTA). During World War II, Air France moved its operations to Casablanca, Morocco. After the war was over, the air service company got nationalized and Societe Nationale Air France was set up, on January 1, 1946. The same year, Air France opened its first air terminal at Les Invalides, in central Paris. By 1948, Air France was operating one of the largest fleets in the world, with 130 aircrafts.
On 16 June 1948, Compagnie Nationale Air France was created by an act of the parliament. Following this, much reorganization took place in the routes and services of the airline. In January 1990, government-owned Air France, semi-public Air Inter and wholly private UTA were merged together, to form an enlarged Air France group. Four year later, Groupe Air France was set up by decree, as a holding company for the airline. It took over Air France group's majority shareholdings in Air France and Air Inter (which was later renamed Air France Europe).
On September 30, 2003, Air France and Netherlands-based KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) announced the merging of the two airlines, the new company to be known as Air France-KLM. On May 5, 2004 the merger was formalized. Both Air France and KLM continue to fly under their distinct brand names. On January 13, 2009, Air France entered into the shareholding scheme of the recently privatized Alitalia's, by buying a 25% stake in the airline. It has also signed a cooperation agreement with Alitalia on an industrial basis. A merger with Alitalia is also likely, although nothing has been finalized as yet.
Air France presently flies to 200 destinations, in 88 countries across the world. It covers almost the whole of Europe, including U.K, Switzerland, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Serbia, Netherlands, Italy, Greece, Hungary, Germany, Armenia Austria, Denmark and Czech Republic. In Africa, it serves Mauritius, Madagascar, Kenya, Angola, Cameroon, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Benin and Mali, among others.
Air France also provides service to the Caribbean, Canada, Mexico, U.S, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Uruguay, and Chile besides covering China, Japan and South Korea in East Asia, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Syria in South West Asia. Among the Asia destinations, it also covers Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, and Bangladesh. In India, the destinations covered by it are Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad and Chennai.
The fleet of Air France comprises of Airbus A318-100, Airbus A319-100, Airbus A319LR, Airbus A320-100, Airbus A320-200, Airbus A321-100, Airbus A321-200, Airbus A330-200, Airbus A340-300, Airbus A380-800, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 777-200ER, Boeing 777-300ER, Boeing 747-400BCF, Boeing 747-400ERF and Boeing 777F. It has also placed orders for 36 new aircrafts. Of January 2009, the average fleet age of Air France was 9.5 years.