Air International 2001-07
R.Hewson - French airline industry /Commercial/
As from March this year Air France increased its cargo capacity by almost 8% over that of its summer 2000 schedule. A twelfth B747-200F freighter will be joining the cargo fleet in September 2001 in order to meet the seasonal increase in demand, particularly on routes to and from the Americas and Asia.
Introduction of the Boeing 777 has had a major impact on Air France’s schedules and the type operates the airline’s longest non-stop flight, with a flying time of 14 hours and 20 minutes.
Brit Air serves routes from Rennes to Paris-CDG and Paris-Orly, while maintaining its own network of domestic services and routes to Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
In addition to Embraer RJ-145s, one of which (F-GRGA) is seen here, Regional Airlines operates a fleet of Beech 1900s, Embraer EMB-120ERs, RJ-135ERs, Saab 2000s and Fokker 100s. Regional Airlines is a subsidiary of the Air France Group and will be merged with Proteus to form a new airline operating a revised fleet of (mainly) Embraer Regional lets.
Air France partner Gandalf Airlines operates a fleet of Fairchild Dornier 328s and 328JETs, offering a high-quality business service which reinforces Air France’s presence in Italy.
Cheerful markings on this Air Littoral ATR 42-500 belie the state of the airline. At the beginning of April 2001, the SAir Group announced that it was cutting off all financial backing for Air Littoral and its future now looks bleak.
Dublin-based Cityjet is fully owned by Air France and operates a fleet often BAe 146-200s in the parent airline’s colours. Five of the aircraft are leased from BAE Systems Asset Management and one by Brimstage Lease. The airline serves Irish Sea-UK mainline routes and on behalf of Air France on routes into France.
Proteus Airlines was founded as Proteus Air System in 1986, changed its name ten years later to Proteus Airlines and in 1997 signed a franchise agreement with Air France which led to its outright purchase. As the fuselage logo clearly states, Proteus was the recipient of the 300th Beech 1900D (in 1998).
A member of the Air France Group, L’Aeropostale, operates a fleet of five cargo aircraft comprising two B737 QCs (including F-GIXK illustrated here) and three A300B4s.
After recently suffering financial troubles, Air France partner Gill Airways halved its fleet and now expects to return to profitability in the 2001/02 financial year, together with a ‘controlled expansion’.