Friday, December 10, 2010

Air France Takes Delivery of its New Boeing 777ER

Newest Addition to Air France Fleet: Boeing 777ER   Image-Air France

Air France Takes Delivery of its New Boeing 777

• A new Business class seat and new features in all cabins
• 200th Boeing aircraft delivered to Air France

Air France Press Release 10 December 2010      Paris -  On Thursday morning [9 December] Air France took delivery of its 200th Boeing, which landed at 5.29am at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, from Everett, near Seatltle. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-300ER (extended range), registration F-GZNH, is also the 56th 777 in the Air France fleet.
This is also the first aircraft to be equipped with the new Business class seats and a new cabin colour scheme, creating a subdued, discreet and light-filled atmosphere in the cabin and enhancing the customers' comfort.

This newest addition to the Air France fleet has a capacity for 383 passengers in three cabins:

- Affaires (Business) -42 seats,

- Premium Voyageur (Premium Economy) -24 seats,

- Voyageur (Economy) -317 seats.

This new aircraft is the first to be equipped with the new Business class seat. It will operate its first commercial flight on December 20, 2010 and will fly the new nonstop Paris-Ho Chi Minh City route starting in January 2011.

It also offers several new features, such as an in-flight entertainment system developed exclusively for Air France and new bars in all cabins.

This is the 200th Boeing aircraft delivered to Air France since 1955, when Air France purchased its first Boeing 707. Air France then operated the Boeing 727, 737 and 767. It ordered its first Boeing 747 in 1966. Out of the eleven aircraft on order with Boeing, Air France will have received four by May 2011.

“These new aircraft will support Air France’s growth strategy on long-haul routes and will strengthen the Air France-KLM Group’s European leadership in terms of its global network. With this new aircraft, Air France is continuing to modernize its fleet, one of the youngest in Europe and is inaugurating its new Business class product,” declared Bruno Matheu, Chief Marketing Officer at Air France.

• On board, a new Business class seat

Still with its fixed shell to preserve customers’ privacy, the new Business class seat offers more comfort thanks to various new innovations including:

- a new seat structure which reclines into a 6.6 foot long bed,

- a new fixed footrest,

- seat controls which are easier to use,

- new storage space,
- a 15-inch (38 cm) wide video screen in 16:9 format.

• In all cabins, a new in-flight entertainment system

Specially developed for Air France by Panasonic, the new in-flight entertainment system has a USB socket enabling passengers to: 

- download programs, an exclusive Air France service,

- read audio, photos and videos files on a USB key,

- consult and modify work documents such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. It is also possible to join Flying Blue on board by entering contact details in the specially developed interface.

Thanks to an easier to use navigation system, all passengers can enjoy the Video On Demand (VOD) system, with approximately 600 hours of programs, including around a hundred feature films – some of which are translated in up to nine languages. In total 15 languages are available in the system. As far as music is concerned, customers can choose from around 3,000 pieces of music and can also draw up their own personal play list.

The use of new technologies enables Air France to offer a better picture quality. In all cabins, wider touch-sensitive screens are now in 16:9 format and have a faster response time.

Air France has also introduced two other exclusive new features: customers can now access an interactive meal service menu and can also download recipes and take part in a discussion forum, where they can exchange with other passengers on the flight.
• New bars and a new cabin interior

Air France has introduced new bars in all cabins with fridge/freezer display cabinets where passengers can help themselves to drinks and ice creams (Haagen Dazs) depending on the flight duration.

In the cabin, a new color scheme creates a calm, cosy and bright atmosphere, enhancing the overall luminosity and the comfort of passengers.

On the Thames: Compleat Angler
Publisher's note:   More memories of Concorde are called to mind as another significant milestone is added to the annals of aviation history - in this case for Air France.  I and other journalist colleagues had the privilege of spending a long dinner evening with British Airways and Air France Concorde pilots at the Compleat Angler Hotel on the Thames a quarter century past... One of the tales conveyed by the pilots with boyish enthusiasm involved a trip to Belfast during the height of the "Troubles".  It seems that a threat against Concorde was received from the IRA. and the BA crew, with no passengers, were given authority to do a maximum speed (to the extent velocity could be achieved in this short distance) run from Belfast to Heathrow.

They said the 323 mile distance was covered in "less than 25 minutes"; do the math... 
Myron D. Stokes

Air France Entered the Jet Age Through Ordering of
Boeing's Superlative 707 in 1955 - Image Air France

About Air France
Air France, winner of the “Marianne D’Or” for Sustainable Development in 2009 and Gold Award for Eco-Friendly Airline of 2008 in Travel Weekly’s annual Magellan awards and recipient of Aviation Week & Space Technology’s "2006 Commercial Air Transport Laureate”, was also named "2005 Airline of the Year" by Air Transport World. The Air France KLM group operates more than 2,470 daily flights out of Paris and Amsterdam to 242 destinations in 105 countries. Air France currently operates from 15 U.S. gateways and provides service from 125 U.S. cities through joint venture partner Delta. For the latest information follow Air France on Twitter @AirFranceUS.
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U.S. Contacts:
Karen Gillo
Air France U.S.A.