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Milestones in the New York-Paris service

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Friday 20 November 2009

Les dates clés de la ligne New York-Paris

24 August 1938,
1st study flight on the New York service leaves from France. Flight is operated by a Latécoère 521 seaplane with seating for 30 passengers, flying  at a cruising speed of 210 kmh.

23-24 June 1946
First commercial service, christened the ‘Ligne du Ruban Etoilé’ – (the star ribbon line) via Shannon (Ireland) and Gander (Newfoundland), flies between Paris and New York in 23 hours 45 minutes at an average speed of 305 km/h by DC-4 (F-BBDJ named the ‘Ciel Ile de France’),

2 January 1947
Lockheed L 049 "Constellation" brought into service. From October 1947, Air France operates the Lockheed "Constellation" L 749 on this service with seating for the 55 passengers and fitted with 18 bunks. The flight lasts 17 hours in a pressurized cabin.

1 April 1950
New service introduced on the Paris - New York flight, the ‘La Comète de Paris’ is operated by Lockheed Constellation (fitted with 34 sleeper seats instead of 46 Pullman seats). Between Paris and New York this luxury service is renamed ‘Le Parisien’ in December, with its sister service between New-York and Paris dubbed ‘The Parisian’.

1 May 1952
Tourist’ economy class introduced on North Atlantic flights while fares in first class drop by 31%.

 3 March 1953
The  Paris-New-York, blue-ribbon ‘Parisien Spécial’  service is operated every Friday night by Air France Constellation fitted with a lounge at the fore of the aircraft and 34 sleeper seats. American cigarettes and champagne are offered free of charge to passengers. Particular care has been lavished on the menus with lobster medallion, duckling à l’orange, foie gras with truffles in flaky pastry served with wine and liqueurs.

1 August 1957
The Lockheed L 1649 Constellation ‘Super Starliner’ is brought into service on North Atlantic flights.  Air France operates the "Parisien Spécial" on this aircraft from now on and the flight time non-stop between Paris and New York is 14 hours and 40 minutes at a cruising speed of 530 km/h. 

31 January 1960
Boeing 707 "Intercontinental" introduced, heralding the start of the jet age. The Boeing 707 can carry 144 passengers at 900 km/h, so that New York is only an average of 8 hours 15 minutes away from Paris.

September 1962
Air France’s millionth passenger makes the transatlantic crossing.

1 May 1966
Inflight  movies
introduced on Air France flights on the Paris -New-York  service named ‘Festival in the sky’.

3 June 1970
First Boeing 747-100 replaces the B707 on the Paris-New York service. The Jumbo Jet can carry about 400 passengers. The 747’s cruising speed is 950 kmh. Paris is now no more than 7 hours 30 minutes from New York.

January 1971
A new Air France terminal opens at J.F. Kennedy International airport in New York large enough to welcome 650, 000 passengers a year.

22 November 1977
Supersonic Concorde brought into service on daily
Paris-New York flights making New York only 3 hours 45 minutes away from Paris and offering customers a new style of transatlantic experience.

1 November 1978
"Affaires" – Business class introduced on Paris-New York services.

1 November 1983
Launch of the "Le Club" – business class.

26 March 1995
Launch of Air France’s first wholly non-smoking long-haul flight between Paris and JFK. Operated by Airbus A340, there are four flights a week up until 4 June and then daily from then on.

April 1998
First Air France Boeing 777, registered
F-GSPA starts operating on the Paris-New York service six times a week.

17 June 2003
Air France launches an 8th daily flight between Paris and New York, becoming the airline offering the most flights between Paris and New York with over 3,400 seats available daily.

February 2004
Launch of the ‘New Air  France Travel Service’ on flights to New York’s Newark airport, operated by Airbus A340 fitted with 36 seats in business and 236 seats in Tempo.

20 November 2009
Air France’s maiden flight by A380 between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and New York’s J.F. Kennedy airport. Air France becomes the first airline to offer superjumbo transatlantic flights between Europe and the United States.


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