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Advisory Council for AeronauticsACARE is a European advisory council for research in aeronautics.  For new aircraft in 2020, it aims to halve CO2 and noise emissions and  reduce NOx emissions by 80% (in relation to 2000 levels).


An air/ground communications system used to collect technical data from the aircraft for analysis, even when in flight.


Aircraft Technical Log:The ADIRU is a device fitted on board aircraft and used to provide information on inertial reference (position and altitude ) and airspeed for the pilot’s electronic flight instrument system.


Association of European Airlines. The prime objective of this association, which brings together some thirty airlines is to collect, analyse and interpret information required by members in carrying out their tasks.


Association of European AirlinesThe prime objective of this association, which brings together some thirty airlines is to collect, analyse and interpret information required by members in carrying out their tasks.


Means the mechanical structure of an aircraft, including the fuselage, wings, stabilizer and flight controls.

Airport ramp

The airport ramp or apron is usually the area where aircraft are parked, loaded or unloaded, refueled or boarded.

Airworthiness Certificate

The French General Directorate of Civil Aviation in France issues the airworthiness certificate to an aircraft meeting the airworthiness requirements. Having limited validity, this certificate is renewed after each inspection.


Agreement between airlines to cooperate on commercial, operational and technical aspects of their activity, including cross-participation in capital. SkyTeam brings together 11 member airlines: Air France, Aéroflot, Aeromexico, Alitalia, China Southern Airlines, CSA Czech Airlines, Continental, Delta, Korean, KLM and Northwest.


All Weather Landing System:With this capability, pilots can control automatically the aircraft's landing, even in conditions of poor visibility.  In 1969, the crew onboard an Air Inter Caravelle were the first to land using this system at Lyon airport.


Auxiliary Power Unit:Often housed in the tail section of the aircraft, the APU is like a small engine. It is mainly used on the ground to supply electrical and pneumatic energy the aircraft needs to power its vital circuits when its main engines are shut down on the ground. If necessary, it can also be used in flight.


Available seat kilometres (ASK) measures an airline’s passenger carrying capacity. It is the seating capacity multiplied by the number of kilometres flown. It is used to compare one airline’s capacity with another.


The ASPI Eurozone® index is made up of 120 listed companies in the Eurozone with the best performance in terms of sustainability according to D21 criteria.

Associate Members

Associate members, sponsored by full SkyTeam members, benefit from all the advantages of SkyTeam a major alliance, without having to comply with the strategic criteria required from member carriers. At the present time, there are three SkyTeam associate members, Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways.


Air Traffic Control:Organization in charge of regulating aircraft flight movements in accordance with air traffic control clearances.


Antitrust Immunity:Exemption from prosecution under antitrust laws. In the transportation industry, airlines with antitrust immunity are permitted under certain conditions to standardize schedules and sometimes prices for the public benefit.


Aircraft Technical LogThe ATL is used to record all the mechanical incidents that have occurred during the flight as well as all the maintenance carried out. The ATL is kept in the aircraft cockpit.

ATL (Aircraft Technical Log)

The ATL is used to record all the mechanical incidents that have occurred during the flight as well as all the maintenance carried out. The ATL is kept in the aircraft cockpit.

Atomic Energy Commission

CEA in French 'Commissariat à l'énergie atomique'

Baggage Incident Ratio

AEA (Association of European Airlines) figures giving the number of pieces of baggage missing at the final destination (in other words that fail to arrive at the same time as their owner yet arrive later) for every 1,000 passengers boarding throughout the airline’s network.

Baggage ticket

Baggage ticket or tag attached to the passenger's baggage at the time of check-in, used by airlines to route baggage to the passenger's final destination. Air France is developing the "intelligent" baggage tag using RFID technology, allowing to permanently track baggage.

BEA (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses)

French Authority in charge of  investigations into airline safety.

Black box

Black box is an electronic device used to record data on the flight and cockpit conversations, which is subsequently analyzed to determine the causes of an incident or accident.

Block time

The time from the moment an aircraft leaves its parking position (“off-blocks
time”) to taxi to the runway for take-off until it comes to a complete standstill at its final parking position at the destination airport (“on blocks”).

Boarding pass

Pass issued to the passenger at check-in. This document indicates the date, flight time, seat number and passenger's check-in number.


Cabotage is the transport of goods or passengers between two points in the same country by an airline belonging to another county.

Carry-on baggage

One single item of hand baggage is authorized in the cabin. Overall dimensions (height x width x length) shall not exceed 115 cm. The airline has the right to request passengers with larger items check their baggage in the hold.


Airline catering which includes composing the meals, preparing them and making up the meal trays served to passengers on board the aircraft.


Route Profit Centre:The Air France network is divided into six different geographic sectors: France, Europe, Africa & Middle East, Americas, Asia and Caribbean & Indian Ocean.

Check-in desk

Desk where the customer is greeted by an agent, who prints out his boarding pass and checks in any baggage. On the majority of routes, Air France also offers customers the freedom to check in online in the comfort of their homes, by logging on to the local website.

Chief purser

Supervises the cabin crew on board wide-bodies. He or she is generally assisted by pursers.

Class of travel

Corresponds to a certain quality of services offered to the customer. This level of quality corresponds to a cabin class. Air France offers different classes of travel: Espace Première, Espace Affaires, Tempo Challenge, Tempo or Alizé.


Carbon dioxide is formed by fossil combustion. CO2 is considered to be the main greenhouse gas responsiblefor global warming. It is present in the atmosphere in proportionsequal to 0.0375% in volume, in this decade (2000s), i.e.375 ppmv (parts per million by volume).  But this proportionis rapidly increasing by about 2 ppmv per year, due to human activities involving consumption of fossil fuelsuch as coal, oil and gas.


In accordance with a code sharing agreement, two partner airlines offer services on the same aircraft, each with their own brand, their own IATA code and their own flight number.

Coordinated airport

These are airports where in order to operate the airport is coordinated, and each airline has been allocated a slot by an independent coordinator, according to previously established rules. In Europe all the major airports are coordinated. 

CVR (Cockpit Voice Recorder)

The CVR is one of the two black boxes on board the aircraft (the other is the DFDR or Digital Flight Data Recorder). Over two hours it continually records all the sound in the cockpit, such as conversation between the pilots, the pilots and air traffic control, the cabin crews as well as any noises or warning bells.


The decibel is used to measure sound levels.  Doubling noise energy corresponds to a variation in noise intensityof 3 dB. It can integrate various weightings to reflect the sensitivity of the human ear and noise pollution.The indicator used to measure noise in CDG shows that  noise made between 6pm and 10pm increases threefold and that noise made between 10pm and 6am increases tenfold.


The DFDR (Digital Flight Data Recorder) is one of the two black boxes on board the aircraft (the other is the CVR - Cockpit Voice Recorder). Over 25 hours the DFDR continually records significant technical data concerning speed, altitude, engine functions, automatic pilot or the flight control systems.


French Civil Aviation Authority. Reports to the French ministry of transport, the DGAC is in charge of air safety in France.

Dow Jones Sustainability Index

The Dow Jones Sustainability World (DJSI World) index comprises, among the 2,500 biggest companies in the Dow Jones index, 10% of the most economically, environmental and socially efficient companies.


The EASA is a European Union body responsible for regulations concerning civil aviation in all EU countries. The Agency also provides expertise when drafting European Union legislation.


European civil aviation conferenceRepresents the European civil aviation regulatory authorities of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization).


Explosive Detection System

Electronic ticket

All the travel information concerning one or more passengers which, instead of being printed, is stored in an airline's computer database, once the booking and payment have been made. An electronic ticket replaces a traditional paper ticket.


Extended-range Twin-engine Operations


Emissions Trading Scheme

European Single Sky

The European Single Sky is a number of measures aiming to meet the future requirements of aviation safety and capacity. These measures applicable to both the civil and military sector concern regulations, economy, safety, environment, technology and institution-related issues. The goal is to change the future structure of air traffic control, which hasn't evolved since the 1960s, and which is the cause of most of considerable air traffic congestion at the current time.


Federal Aviation Administration


Flying Blue, Air France's Frequent Flyer Program

Flight Coupon

Either in paper or electronic form, a flight coupon authorises a passenger to travel on a given flight.

Flight Crew Circuit

The airport circuit followed by the crew before and after a rotation, i.e. after a series of legs (at least two) flown by a crew.


Aircraft designed to exclusively carry cargo. Cargo can also be transported in the hold of passenger planes.

French Environment Summit

The French Environment Summit or 'grenelle' consists of a series of politicalmeetings organized in France in October 2007,designed to take long-term decisions concerning theenvironment and sustainable development. The term"Grenelle" refers to the Grenelle Agreement of May 1968,appointed to organize a multi-party debate with governmentrepresentatives, professional associations and NGOs.  Air Francehas specifically contributed to two of the six working groups:fighting climate change and containing energy(“mobility and transport” programme and “energy efficiencyand carbon” programme) and Group 3: “Building an environment which is good for our health”.

Frequent Flyer Program

A frequent flyer program is designed to reward customers’ loyalty.  Passengers are rewarded with ‘Miles’ for the trips they make. Air France and KLM have a joint frequent flyer program called Flying Blue, that has over 12.6 million members.


The FTSE4Good series of indices was designed to identify companies that work in favour of the environment and develop social dialogue with their stakeholders, while fully supporting the universal Human Rights principles.


Financial Times Stock Exchange


Inflight meals are stored and prepared in the galley. Besides being to keep food and beverages carts, there is also storage for chinaware and cuttlery as well as ovens and refrigerators.


Global Distribution System:
A computerized information and reservations system, enabling travel agents to visualize the inventory available for various products supplied by professionals in the tourism industry (airlines, hotel chains, car hire, etc.) In 1987, Air France, together with Iberia, Luftahansa and SAS set up Amadeus.


A go-around or balked landing is used to describe a manoeuvre whereby the pilot, for whatever reason, decides to abort the landing. The go-around procedure may also be dictated by the control tower because of weather conditions or because the runway is not clear. 


GoodPlanet is a non-profit organization governed by the French1901 act and founded on 1 July 2005 by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Its aim is to heighten public awareness of the world’sIssues and promote sustainable development. Air France has joinedGoodPlanet’s Action Carbone programme to enable customersto offset their carbon emissions.


Ground proximity warning system: decision-making aid used to alert pilots of an obstacle.

Greenhouse gases

A series of gases (six of which were targeted by the KyotoProtocol) which absorb the infrared sunrays emitted by the earth’s surface, thereby contributing to global warming.Resulting from the combustion of fossil energies (coal,fuel, etc.), carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for overhalf the greenhouse gas emissions.  Since 1750, itsconcentration in the atmosphere has grown by 30%.  It has alifespan of 50 to 200 years.


Hedging Policy: Financial mechanism used by Air France KLM and other airlines to minimize the effects of hikes in the cost of  fuel. It involves buying a certain quantity of jetfuel at a certain date at a prearranged price. Two other kinds of financial products, options and swaps, are used in this type of financial strategy.

Hold baggage

Baggage carried in the aircraft hold, at the airline's responsibility. Hold baggage is checked and labelled. Air France is developing the "intelligent" baggage tag using RFID technology allowing to track the bag's movements.


An airline’s central airport where arrivals and departures are scheduled to coincide so that connecting times are reduced. At  Paris-Charles de Gaulle passengers arrive in six connecting time bands throughout the day. Usually  part of a ‘hub and spoke’ strategy, passengers and goods from surrounding airports (spokes) are transferred via ‘feeder flights’ to their joint
final destination or vice versa.


International Air Transport AssociationSet up in 1945 in Havanna, Cuba, IATA represents most of the world’s airlines. It’s mission is to encourage the development of air transport through the unification and coordination of  international standards and regulations.

IATA airport code

International coding system defined by the IATA association, comprising a 3-letter code.

IATA year

The fiscal calendar year adopted by many airlines, including Air France, which begins on 1 April and ends on 31 March of the following year, allowing carriers to monitor operations more easily on the basis of IATA "defined seasons" (winter and summer).


International Civil Aviation Organisation: Set up at the Chicago Convention in 1944, it was designed to define the texts, standards and recommendations necessary to regulate civil aviation.  The headquarters are located in Montreal.


In Flight Entertainment: An electronic entertainment system provided for passengers including video, audio and telephony. In the most recent cabin fittings this is also interactive.


Instrument flight rules (IFR) are a set of regulations and procedures for flying aircraft whereby aircraft instruments provide navigation and obstacle clearance (together with instructions from the Air Traffic Control). See also VFR (visual flight rules).


International Financial Reporting Standards:Accounting standards used by listed companies in the European Union for their consolidated accounts. Adopted on 1 January 2005, it has made it easier for investors to compare the financial perforamance of European companies.


ILS (Instrument Landing System) is a radio system used for precision guidance when landing aircraft, particularly in bad visibility. This equipment significantly improves landing precision by combining lateral and vertical guidance.

Inertial Navigation Unit

A computer that tells the aircraft where it is in relation to the Earth's surface in three dimensions, with no external radio or satellite assistance.


IOSA certification is obtained after a series of audits carried out within airlines. These audits are conducted by organizations accredited by IATA and are based on close to a thousand different aspects related to the safety of air operations, such as flight and ground operations, operational control and even maintenance. IOSA certification ensures that the airline's safety procedures meet the highest standards of the international aviation industry. Air France has obtained IOSA certification.

IOSA Certification

IOSA certification is obtained after a series of audits carried out within airlines. These audits are conducted by organizations accredited by IATA and are based on close to a thousand different aspects related to the safety of air operations, such as flight and ground operations, operational control and even maintenance. IOSA certification ensures that the airline's safety procedures meet the highest standards of the international aviation industry. Air France has obtained IOSA certification.


The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was created in 1988 by two UN bodies; the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and  the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The IPCC’s role is to provide decision-makers with objective information on climate change in a clear and methodical manner based on the latest scientific, technical and socio-economic literature. In 2007 the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

ISO 14001

International standard promoting the quality of environmental policies.  First published in 1996, ISO 14001 has become a strategic reference in terms of environmental management.The company which requests certification is audited by an accredited, international independent body.ISO 14001 is based on three requirements:• ensure compliance with environmental regulations;• prevent pollution;• constantly seek to improve environmental performance.Air France entrusted the Quality, Environment and SustainableDevelopment Division with the task of obtaining ISO 14001 Certification in October 2007. The target is to achieve certification by summer 2008.


Joint Aviation Authorities


A jetway or overhead walkway may be more or less at a slope and is used to connect an aircraft to the airport building.


JV or Joint Venture: a joint company with two or more partners, usually holding equal stakes of 50% each. This type of share structure enables special joint projects to be set up through industrial or technological alliances.


Unit used to measure airspeed. I knot = 1.852 kilometers an hour or 1.1507 miles per hour

Kyoto Protocol

The purpose of the Kyoto Protocol is to combat climate changeby reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  The Earth Summitin Rio in 1992 marked the awareness on an internationalscale of the risk of climate change.  The richest countries, for which a reduction in growth did not seem acceptablebut which were responsible for most of the emissions, made acommitment to stabilize their emissions at 1990 levelsby the year 2000.  The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 reflectsthis determination in terms of quantitative, legally-restrictive commitments.In the protocol, 39 industrialized countries including Europe,Russia, Japan and Australia which ratified the agreementIn December 2007, will reduce their emissions of six greenhouse gases between 2008 and 2012 by 5.2% comparedto the year 1990, in order to combat global warming.The targets differ from one country to another: Target for Europe: - 8%Target for France: 0% (given its nuclear power stations,France only needs to maintain the same level of emissionsas in 1990).

La Navette Shuttle Service

La Navette shuttle service or La Navette, introduced in 1996, links Paris-Orly airport to Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice and Toulouse with frequent flights throughout the day on the hour or every half hour at peak times


An agreement under which a property owner allows an operating carrier to use a means of transport during a specified period. There are two main types of lease: dry lease and wet lease.

Long haul

Long-haul flights usually last over five hours.

Lost baggage

Checked baggage is considered lost after a period of 21 days. It is extremely rare for baggage to be permanently lost.

Medium haul

Medium-haul flights usually lasts less than five hours and for Air France generally refer to European flights.


The Microwave Landing System (MLS) is an all-weather, precision landing system that will be fitted in the next few years to supplement the already operational Instrument Landing System (ILS).

Montreal Convention

An international convention designed to unify certain rules governing international air transport, signed in Montreal on 28 May 1999 and ratified on 28 June 2004 by EU countries.The Montreal Convention introduced the principle of carriers’ civil liability for victims of air disasters. With additional and more detailed provisions it will eventually replace the Warsaw Convention.


A nautical mile or sea mile is a unit of length, measuring 1,852 metres.


A ‘no-show’ is a passenger who fails to appear for boarding on a flight that has a reserved seat in his or her name. ‘No-shows’ force airlines to use ‘overbooking’. See ‘overbooking’.

Non-stop flight

A flight operated without any intermediate stopovers.

Operating costs

Costs arising from normal operating conditions in a company.

Operating noise

Actual noise perceived on the ground during aircraftmanœuvres (departure and approach).


Airlines overbook flights to compensate for passengers who reschedule or opt not to fly (‘no-shows’).

Paris-CDG flight crew centre

Paris-CDG base for some 18,000 Air France cabin crew members. The CDG flight crew centre also accommodates ground staff in charge of operational logistics and operations follow-up.


Passenger Information ListThis is a list of passengers present on a flight handed to the crew on departure, it includes any information useful for the comfort and safety of passengers.

Pilot licence

Pilot licences (known as airman certificates in the US) are issued by national aviation authorities, and establish that the holder has been trained by a qualified instructor. A pilot must hold a commercial pilot licence in order to fly for an airline and must have passed medical and professional tests.


Leg-room or distance between two seats.


Percentage of flights which have left/arrived on time or within 15 minutes


Supervises the cabin crew (flight attendants) on a flight.


Atmospheric pressure (Q) at Field Elevation


Atmospheric Pressure (Q) at Nautical Height


Quick Return Flight:Code used in aviation to signify that an aircraft is returning to base due to a technical incident.


Percentage of flights performed compared with scheduled flights


Radio Frequency Identification


An automatic identification system whereby information stored on tags can be transmitted by radio frequency at distance. These tags are particularly useful in sorting and tracking baggage.


RPK is a measure of an airline’s sales volume and corresponds to number of fare-paying passengers carried muliplied by the number of kilometres flown.


Revenue tonne-kilometre (RTK) is defined as one ton of load (passengers and/ or cargo) carried for one kilometre.

SB (Service Bulletin)

The SB is issued by the aircraft or the equipment manufacturer to provide users with recommendations for modifying or replacing parts or to warn them that a particular check is required.  

SB recommendations are not mandatory. Contrary to ADs, SBs do not directly affect aircraft airworthiness.

Schengen Zone

The Schengen Zone, set out in the Treaty of Amsterdam,  allows for the free circulation of population (EU national or otherwise) within a designated zone stretching over the 24 countries of the 27 countries in the European Union and four other non-EU countries that have fully implemented the agreements (Island, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein).  Once a passenger has entered the territory of one of the member states, flights are considered domestic and passengers are  not required to undergo further border controls.

Seat block

Quota of seats allocated for a specific flight  to a travel agent or other carrier by the operating airline.

Security Fees

Fees levied on tickets to provide added security.

Self-Service Kiosk

Kiosks installed in airport departure halls, allowing passengers to independently check in and print out their boarding passes, eliminating the need to go to the check-in desk.

Short haul

For Air France, short haul flights are usually domestic flights.


System for allocating aircraft arrival/departure times for each airline.


Period when flight crews remain on call for the airline in the event of unforeseen incidents, sick leave or absenteeism.

Station manager

In charge of supervising operating teams and monitoring activities at the airport, such as passengers, ticketing, information desks or operations.

Summer Schedule

Defined by IATA as the 7-month period running from the last Saturday in March to the last Saturday  in October.

Sustainable Development

Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own (definition supplied in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development in the Brundtland Report).


Used by aircraft and connects from the ramp to the runway or to other airport facilities such as hangars.

Tour of duty

A tour of duty comprises a series of flight legs (usually 2) flown by a flight crew. In Air France, long-haul tours of duty usually last for 3 days, while on medium-haul they last from 1 to 4 days.

Travel agent

The travel agent takes bookings on behalf of tour operators or airlines. They receive  "fees" for the services they provide or, more rarely, a commission from the airlines.


Trijets have three engines. See also twin-engined aircraft.


AIR FRANCE KLM turnover corresponds to all revenue generated by the AIR FRANCE KLM Group in its three core activities (passenger, cargo, maintenance) and related activities.

Twin-engine aircraft

Aircraft equipped with two engines. There are also single-engined, triple-engined (or trijets) and four-engined aircraft.


Unaccompanied Minor:Children aged between 4 and 12 years old may travel alone. Airlines take charge of the children during the flight. Air France provides this service free of charge


UT Universal Time:Preferred usage for giving times rather than GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). Time zones around the world are described in UTC.


Visual Flight Rules:A set of aviation regulations that define the minimum weather conditions needed to fly an aircraft.


Visual Meteorological Conditions:Term used in aviation to define conditions whereby pilots have sufficient visibility (refers to certain visibility minimums, cloud ceilings and clearances) to fly the aircraft according to VFR (visual flight rules), which may vary depending on the airspace.

Warsaw Convention

 The Warsaw Convention  was signed on 12 October 1929 and amended in 1933, 1955 and 1966. It governs the transportation of persons, baggage and freight by aircraft in exchange for payment. The Montreal Convention will eventually replace the Warsaw Convention but at the moment they coexist.

Wet lease

A wet lease is a leasing arrangement whereby one airline (lessor) provides an aircraft, complete crew, maintenance, and insurance.

Wide-bodied aircraft

Wide-bodied aircraft (as opposed to narrow-bodied) usually have two aisles and can carry 200 passengers or more. Also used to describe wide-bodied freighters


Control surfaces situated on the trailing (back) edge of the wings and are used to make the aircraft roll. They allow the aircraft to turn.

Winter Schedule

Defined by IATA as the 5-month period running from the first Sunday after the last Saturday in October to the Friday preceding the last Saturday in March.


The mission of the WWF (World Wildlife Fund), one of the first worldwide associations to be set up for the conservation and defence of the natural environment, is to halt and reverse the destruction of the earth in order to build a world wheremen live in harmony with nature.  The association hasover 4.7 million members across the world, and hasan operational network in 96 countries which proposes 12,000 programmes for the protection of nature in 220 ecoregions essential for the safeguard of the earth’s biodiversity.The Foundation is organized around six priority themes: endangered species, freshwater ecosystems, oceans & coasts, forests, climate change and pollution.Contrary to other NGOs, the WWF considers partnershipswith selected businesses useful in promoting their ideas.


Financial term referring to revenue generated by one fare-paying passenger carrried for one kilometer (RPK).


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