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While Air France operates a number of flights to and around South Africa, it is headquartered just north of Paris in Tremblay-en-France. The airline is a founding member of SkyTeam which is a global airline alliance and is also a subsidiary of Air France-KLM.
Air France was founded in 1933 with the merger of Air Union, Air Orient, Compagnie Générale Aéropostale, Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aérienne and Société Générale de Transport Aérien.
The airline was one of only 3 allied airlines to operate in Germany during the cold war between 1950 and 1990. Before the company merged with KLM in 2003, it was France’s primary national flag carrier for 70 years. With 130 aircraft in operation in 1948, Air France was already operating the largest fleet in the world.
In 1983 when Air France celebrated its golden jubilee, the company already employed over 34 000 individuals and had acquired over 100 jet aircraft which included 33 Boeing 747s. It was the fourth largest airline in the world and flew to over 150 destinations across 73 countries.
Air France now flies to 36 local destinations in France and to over 168 destinations across 93 countries. In 2015, the company reported carrying 46 803 000 passengers. Air France offers flights to international destinations from Cape Town and Johannesburg.
As of the beginning of 2017, the airline’s fleet of 233 aircraft consists of:
Airbus A318-100: 18
Airbus A320-200: 46
Airbus A320-200: 46
Airbus A321-100: 5
Airbus A321-200: 18
Airbus A330-200: 15
Airbus A340-300: 10
Airbus A380-800: 10
Boeing 777-200ER: 25
Boeing 777-300ER: 43
Boeing 787-9: 1
Boeing 777F: 2
On Board Entertainment
The in-flight entertainment program offers a range of movies, television shows, cartoons, music and games. The airline also serves gourmet cuisine and a la carte menus.
Carry-on baggage is restricted to two pieces and one accessory. Hand baggage carried onto the aircraft cannot exceed 55 x 35 x 25cm dimensions with a 12kg weight allowance. Personal accessories carried on board must not exceed 20 x 50 x 13cm and liquid items are limited to no more than 100ml. For checked in baggage, passengers can find an allowance calculator here.
Frequent Flyer Program
Air France has a frequent flyer program called “Flying Blue”. Miles earned can be used for buying tickets, transferring to other passengers or to donate to charity. Miles can be earned when booking flights, shopping online and by making a hotel or car booking.
Partnerships and Codeshare Agreements
As of the end of 2016, Air France has code share agreements and partnerships with SkyTeam alliance members which include Aeroflot, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Europa, Alitalia, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Czech Airlines, Delta Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Kenya Airways, KLM, Korean Air, Middle East Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Vietnam Airlines, Xiamen Air and TAROM.
The airline offers 3 classes to choose from:
- First Class
- Business Class
- Economy Class
Online Check In
Passengers can check in online up to 30 hours prior to departure time. Online check-in allows seat selection, meal selection and boarding pass printing.
Contacting Air France in South Africa
Passenger can visit Air France help desks at the O.R Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg and the Cape Town International Airport.
Customer service centres and ticket sales offices can be reached on:
Tel: +27 010 205 0100
Tel: +27 086 134 0340
Air France in the news
Air France is one of a number of legacy airlines that will make low cost long haul flights possible in 2017. The airline CEO, Jean-Marc Janaillac plans to acquire 10 Airbus A340s for the purpose of serving long haul routes. Some of the long haul routes served by Air France include those to Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa.
Air France recently finalised the sale of 49.99% of its share in Servair, to GateGroup, an in-flight catering service provider. The total cost of this stake is approximately USD248 million. The deal was finalised on 30 December 2016 with the new directors taking the reins from the 1st of January 2017.