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Air France: 70 years of presence in Canada!

To the point

To mark its 70th anniversary in Canada, Air France organized a virtual event bringing together all the actors who contribute or have participated in its history.

A virtual event for its 70th anniversary

For its 70th anniversary in Canada, we had the pleasure of being invited to the virtual event of Air France.

It was an opportunity for the company to bring together all its customers, its sales network, its partners, its suppliers and all its employees to share the highlights of 70 years of history between Canada and Air France.

logo 70 ans fr

Travel columnist and writer Jean-Michel Dufaux and The Vice-President and General Manager of Air France KLM Canada, Catherine Guillemart-Dias, presented this virtual concept together following health guidelines and gave the mic to multiple speakers:

In 2019, 680 000 French people came to Canada for tourism, which made us the 4th country of visitors. On the other side, more than 1,2 million Canadians came to France. In Europe, France is the favorite destination of Québecois, but also the second favorite for English-speaking Canadians.

Kareen Rispal - French Ambassador to Canada

 

Air France is part of the large family of YUL and if today Montreal-Trudeau is the international hub it is, much of it is because of Air France (…) We share the same values and, above all, the same commitment to do everything we can to serve passengers well.

Philippe Rainville, President and CEO, ADM Aéroports de Montreal
2020.10. – jean-michel dufaux. catherine guillemart dias

Air France made us relive historical moments during this friendly session thanks to its archival images and numerous anecdotes. It was an opportunity for the airline to also share messages from the General Management and videos of employees describing their business’s behind-the-scenes, the evolution of technologies and the fleet, and the team’s values.

The closing credits comprised messages from Air France Canada’s main partners: Delta Air Lines, WestJet, Atout France and the Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver airports.

Despite the circumstances, it mattered to us that we mark this milestone moment in our history and thank everyone who contributes, in their own way, to the history of Air France Canada. Being by our customers’ side, providing reassurance, and working with our trade network – this is what we do with passion and engagement at Air-France KLM, along with our sales colleagues at Delta, which has proven to be key in the current context.

Catherine Guillemart-Dias

Key dates in Air France's history in Canada

At the end of the Second World War, in 1945, France wanted to strengthen diplomatic and economic relations with Canada, after appointing its first ambassador to Ottawa.

Air France’s presence in Canada dates back to October 2, 1950, when the Lockheed Constellation 749 touched down at Dorval airport after stopovers in Shannon and Gander. On October 5, the first cycle was completed with the first flight from Montreal to Paris.

Discover these 70 years in video:

To celebrate its 70-year alliance with Canada, Air France marked the arrival of AF 342 on October 2, 2020, with Montreal’s French delegation.

2020.10.02- yul 70 ans – years
2020.10.02 – yul gm canada. af captain. agent yul. co-pi avec gilet canada. chef d-escale yul

A Boeing 747 touched down on May 20, 1976, to inaugurate the first Paris-Toronto flight, a route which also included Los Angeles as a beyond for the first two years.

Direct flights to the Queen City were introduced in 1994.

1976.05.20 – yyz. af inaugural flight landing in toronto
1976.05.20 – yyz b 747 gate

With two major routes in Eastern Canada, Air France inaugurated its Vancouver route on March 29, 2015.

2015.03.29 – yvr 1er vol yvr first flight
2015.03.29 – yvr inauguration vancouver

Part of our history

For us, Air France is part of our family history. French-born, we arrived in Montreal with Air France in August 2011 to settle there.

We will remember this flight for a long time since it was also the first made in business class and this, with Flying Blue miles!

Even today, we appreciate the airline’s services and try to fly on it whenever we have the chance.

Here are two reviews we’ve made:

And if you want to see our experience aboard the Air France A350 on video, check out our Youtube channel!

Air France's technological advances

Air France has continued to develop ever more efficient technologies for its teams and its customers. The service offer has never ceased to evolve and renew itself, and even more so with the current situation as we live. The airline’s ambition is to build on sustainable development in the future.

In 2019, we chose Toronto as the destination of the inaugural flight of our new long-haul aircraft, the Airbus A350. A high performing aircraft that meets our ambitions in terms of sustainable development, a major challenge in which the air industry and Air France have a decisive role to play.

Anne Rigail, CEO Air France

In the past, nothing was more important than a boarding pass. Now, nothing easier in the digital age.

These days, the customer is in control of his journey, arriving at the airport having booked and paid his ticket and even having checked himself in. When he arrives at the airport, there is no need to go to a counter. We warmly greet and assist clients using tablets with many options for all types of customer assistance, whether at the self-serve check-in, bag drop kiosks or at the gate.

Christina Wendland, Station Manager, Air France KLM - Toronto

An interesting reminder also concerning the safety and constant improvement of the skills in this area with the maintenance of next-generation airliners:

Our top focus is ensuring safety and that planes are airworthy. We are entrusted with handing our crews an aircraft in perfect flying condition, while meeting the industry’s highest requirements.

Thierry Moncada

AF Canada’s teams have participated in a common message about the unity and entrepreneurship that sustains them:

What is the schedule for the end of 2020?

To Paris, Air France expects to maintain 10 flights per week in November and up to 17 in December from Canada. Boeing B787s and Airbus A350s will operate these flights:

Air France From To Flights Aircraft Flights/week
Montreal 01 Nov 31 dec AF345/344 B787 7
Montreal 07 dec 31 dec AF349/348 B787 5
Toronto 01 Nov 13 dec AF351/356 A350 3
Toronto 14 dec 31 dec AF351/356 A350 5

KLM will resume flying out of Edmonton effective October 29 with ‘circular’ flights twice* a week. Outbound: Edmonton – Amsterdam direct. Inbound: Amsterdam – Calgary – Edmonton for a total 17 KLM weekly flights, to which will be added 2 all-cargo flights to Toronto.

KLM From To Flights Aircraft Flights/week
Montreal 01 Nov 13 dec KL672/671 B787 2
Montreal 14 dec 31 dec KL672/671 B787 3
Toronto 01 Nov 31 dec KL692/691 B777 7 – 2 cargo
Calgary 01 Nov 31 dec KL678/677 A330 3 + 2*
Edmonton 01 Nov 31 dec KL679/679 A330 2*
Vancouver 01 Nov 31 dec KL682/681 A330 3

To conclude, here are the Air France safety guidelines: Welcome aboard. Even though we know it by heart, we watch it every time from start to finish, so well scripted!

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