History of the Airlines in France
Air travel in France began in 1919 with the creation of "Campagnie des Messagerie Aeriennes" who administered their first flight between Paris and London in the same year. In the 1933 the company merged with Air France, which is still regarded as the flag ship airline today. The first low-cost airlines came into play in the 1990's, resulting in the closure of such carriers as Air Littoral and Air Lib, while Air France launched a low-cost subsidiary to compete with the new popular carriers.
Major Airlines in France
There are 28 active Airlines in France. These range from budget to luxury providers, the main ones being Air France, Aigle Azur and Transavia France. The extensive domestic and international network of airlines and flight routes in France gives travellers a large variety of choices.
Air France is by far the largest French Airline carrying almost 40 million passengers annually to 200 destinations in 90 countries the world over. This also includes more than 30 domestic destination in France. The main hub of Air France is Paris-Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport, with addition hubs in Paris-Orly Airport and Lyon-Saint-Exupery Airport.
Aigle Azur serves roughly 1.8 million passengers per year. The French airlines headquarters is located in Tremblay-en-France which is a suburb of Paris and operates both domestic and international flights to 26 destinations. However they mainly focus their attention on destinations outside of Europe - namely, areas of North Africa and the Middle East. Aigle Azurs main hub is stationed at Paris-Orly.
Transavia France is a low cost subsidiary of Air France. The providers headquarters and main hub is located at Paris-Orly Airport and flies to a total of 30 destinations. The Airline currently carries an average of 1.6 million passengers per year, mostly flying to European countries with a primary focus on holiday spots in the Mediterranean sea. On board facilities on Transavia planes include a variety of buy on board services offering food and drink for service.
Though airlines in France offer both domestic and international flights, the majority of the national flights connect only the biggest cities such as Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse and Nice. In 2013, flights of this nature accounted for more than 30 million passengers. International flights from French airlines mainly fly to Europe (69 millions passengers), followed by destinations in Africa (17 million passengers), America (12 million passengers) and finally Asia (10 Million passengers).