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News about Air France

Air France and Delta consider Virgin Atlantic bid

2 March 2011

Air France and Delta are believed to be interested in making a bid for Sir Richard Branson’s 51 per cent stake in Virgin Atlantic.

The stake is valued by analysts at anywhere between £500m and £1bn with Singapore Airlines owning the remaining 49 per cent stake, which it bought for £600m in 1999.

In November, Sir Richard hired Deutsche Bank to examine Virgin’s strategic options.

He said at the time he was being forced to review the airline’s position in the wake of British Airways’ merger with Iberia and their transatlantic tie-up with American Airlines.


Air France to pay for crash death

7 January 2011

Air France has been ordered by a Brazilian court to pay 540,000 euros to the relatives of a Brazilian family that died on a flight from Rio to Paris in June last year.

The mother of 31 year old Luciana Clarkson Seba will receive 2,300 euros a month as compensation to the suffering she experienced after she lost her daughter and son in law in the crash.

This case likely paves the way for legal claims by the families of the other 228 passengers and crew who died on the flight.

The airline said the carrier’s insurer would pay the compensation fees.


Airlines roll out new mobile web functionality

28 September 2010

Air France, KLM and American Airlines  all launched new mobile travel services this week, proving that the race to add new functionality to mobile travel is far from over.

The new mobile websites from Air France and KLM include the ability to change tickets (for flexible bookings) – something which the airlines say is a world first.

Like competitors’ services, passengers can also check in, choose seats, add bags, check timetables and flight status and receive their boarding pass.


Airline rolls out new business class as air travel recovers

23 September 2010

Air France has unveiled its new business class cabin, saying that the new two-meter bed is one of the longest on the market.

The airline, which is investing some €110 million in its business class cabin, will offer the new seat on long-haul services from the end of this year.

Air France says that by investing in its business class cabins during  the economic crisis, it’s now in a perfect position to look after  premium passengers during the recovery – which the International Air  Transport Association (IATA) says is well underway.


Air France flight attendant charged over ‘mile-high’ thefts

1 August 2010

A flight attendant working for Air France has been charged with 26 counts of theft. For more than a year, she operated stealthily as business class passengers slumbered; an apparently comforting flight attendant who poured tea for travellers with one hand and swiped their bank cards with the other.

But the game is finally up for an Air France flight attendant, who allegedly took to rifling through passengers’ pockets in mid-air to solve her money problems. She was arrested on the runway of Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport on Friday, and faces a prison sentence if found guilty of a string of robberies on flights from France to Asia.

Police said the items that the 47-year-old stole ranged from credit cards and cash – in multiple currencies – to jewellery and designer watches.


Concorde victims remembered, ten years on

26 July 2010

Ten years to the day after Concorde plunged from the skies near Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, victims of the tragedy have been remembered.

Families of the 113 people killed gathered at Gonesse just outside the French capital where the supersonic jet crashed onto a hotel after take-off.

The Concorde programme itself never recovered. The mythical aircraft was finally retired in 2003.

Controversy still surrounds what went wrong. The verdict in a manslaughter case is due in December.

source: EuroNews

Airline rejects Concorde crash responsibility

7 February 2010

US airline Continental has denied responsibility for a deadly Concorde crash that spelt the end of supersonic travel as its mechanics went on trial in France with French engineers.

Judge Dominique Andreassier read out the charges against the US airline Continental and two of its technical staff who are accused of the manslaughter of 109 people on the plane — most of them German tourists — and four hotel workers on the ground.

The court will decide whether to side with investigators and technical experts who say the crash was caused by a strip of metal that fell off a Continental DC-10 that took off shortly before the Concorde on July 25, 2000.


Airline introduces greener economy seat

20 January 2010

Air France has introduced a new economy class seat which it claims will save 1,700 tonnes of fuel a year — the equivalent of 650 flights from Paris to Marseilles.

The new design, being introduced into the airline’s short-haul cabins from January 30, offers passengers 5 to 7.5 cm more leg room and is 40 percent lighter than previous seats used on the airline’s fleet of Airbus A319s, A320s and A321s. The reduction in weight is expected to reduce emissions by 5,200 tonnes of CO2 per year, as each aircraft will weigh approximately 750kg less.

source: The Independent

Passenger traffic drops at Europe’s top airline

8 July 2009

Air France-KLM, Europe’s biggest airline, which has already been forced to cut operations in the economic crisis, saw passenger traffic fall 6.4 percent in June, the company said.

The biggest drop came in Asia, where passenger numbers fell 10.8 percent, while traffic in Africa and the Middle East dropped just 0.2 percent. The European network saw a 6.8-percent decline in traffic.

Air France-KLM said it carried a total of 6.4 million passengers in June.

source: AFP

Air France crash: ‘black box signals located’

25 June 2009

Signals from the flight data recorders, or “‘black boxes”,’ of the Air France airliner that crashed into the Atlantic killing all 228 people on board have been located.

French naval vessels detected a weak signal from the flight data recorders. A mini submarine has been dispatched on Monday to try and find the “‘black boxes'” on the bottom of the ocean floor.

The “‘black boxes'” may contain vital information that could help explain what happened when the Airbus A330 aircraft crashed into the sea en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris on June 1.