Air France history from the Breguet Deux Ponts Double-Decker to the Airbus A380
Thursday 19, August 2010
With the arrival of a fourth A380 in its fleet, Air France will offer, as from 1st September 2010, three weekly flights between Paris and Tokyo, and a daily flight as from 5 October 2010.
The Sahara flying machine
In 1953, Air France was already operating another double-decked aircraft, the Breguet Double-Decker. On 17 March 1953, Air France inaugurated the first of its twelve Breguet 763 "Provence". They mainly served the routes between mainland France and Algeria (Algiers-Marseille-Lyon), as well as Algerian domestic routes.
Sixty years before the appearance of the Airbus A380, the Breguet Double-Decker was one of the world's first double-decked aircraft. The combi version could carry close to 12 tons of cargo and the all-passenger aircraft up to 107 passengers: 59 on the upper deck and 48 on the lower deck.
Thanks to its solid construction, this aircraft could land on rough terrain and carry heavy, bulky loads. This Sahara flying machine, the first genuine Air France freighter, transported bulky equipment destined for Algerian oil drilling platforms.
On 31 March 1971, the last Air France Breguet 763 flew for the last time between Paris and London.
The world's biggest civil aircraft
Air France's A380 is equipped with 538 seats, divided between three classes: La Première, with 9 seats on the main deck, Affaires-Business, comprising 80 seats on the upper deck, and Voyageur, with 449 seats divided between the two decks. The main deck of the A380 boasts equivalent capacity of a Boeing 777-200 and the upper deck that of an Airbus A340-300.
The A380 is the most environmentally-friendly aircraft - with less than 75g of CO2 produced per passenger kilometre - and the quietest aircraft in its category. The roomier cabin offers increased comfort and space. On board this superjumbo, Air France has innovated with special lighting ambiences that change depending on the various stages of the flight, special areas geared towards relaxation and conviviality and the brand-new in-flight entertainment system, equipped with larger video screens.
Air France has ordered 12 A380s. Tokyo is the first destination in Asia to be served by Air France's A380.
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