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Air France- World's Largest Airline?

Mon Dec 04, 2000 7:41 am

I was looking through the huge collection of old magazines in my basement and I all the Air France ads from the 1950s and early 1960s were particularly interesting. All of them have the slogan "Air France The World's Largest Airline". I was wondering if they ever were the world's largest. I find it hard to believe that they were larger than Pan Am or even BOAC or TWA at this time. If anyone knows the logic behind this slogan please share.
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RE: Air France- World's Largest Airline?

Mon Dec 04, 2000 8:32 am

From around 1950 to 1990, Aeroflot was the largest in the world.

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RE: Air France- World's Largest Airline?

Mon Dec 04, 2000 11:30 am

I've always assumed they were claiming to have the longest total route-mileage (or kilometerage); don't know whether it was true. They never were the world's largest by any normal criterion, of course.
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RE: Air France- World's Largest Airline?

Mon Dec 04, 2000 11:42 am

As TWA902fly pointed out, Aeroflot was by far the worlds largest airline, as it controlled every aircraft movement with in the Soviet Union. However, Air France's route network was far-flung for an airline in those days, serving the Far East, Africa, North America, and South America. I think Timz is correct in assuming that Air France was the largest in mileage.

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RE: Air France- World's Largest Airline?

Thu Dec 07, 2000 3:57 am


Yes, indeed, Air France had the longest network in the world at that time.

In fact Air France was also one of the leader with alliances in 1970s: they ranked second after Lufthansa. And according to studies conducted by 'Airline Business', they ranked first worldwide for the number of agreements in 1998.

Air France has never been the largest airline in the world, but apart from the dark years of the early 1990s, they've always been among the leaders in Europe, and in the world.

Best regards,
Alain Mengus

RE: Air France- World's Largest Airline?

Thu Dec 07, 2000 11:13 am

In terms of passenger-miles or whatever they are called, United has been the biggest since 1961.
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RE: Air France- World's Largest Airline?

Thu Dec 07, 2000 11:43 am

I believe Pan-Am was the largest airline at those times. Air France must have just said they were for pure marketing.
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