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Air France Turns 90 This Year, and Is Celebrating With Fashion, Cocktails, and Vintage Memorabilia

France Airports + Flying
by Nickolaus Hines Oct 3, 2023

Air France turns 90 on October 7 this year, and the airline is celebrating with fashion exhibits, celebrations of French culture, vintage goods, and flight promotions.

The company started in 1933 with the merger of four French airlines: Air Orient, Air Union, Société Générale de Transports Aériens, the Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aérienne and Aéropostale. Today, it has nearly 1,000 daily flights to 200 destinations on more than 240 aircraft. Air France’s dedication to French culture and art can be seen in everything from the design and food to the in-flight safety videos.

Air France isn’t the oldest airline in the world that’s still in operation, but it’s up there (the Netherlands carrier KLM takes that title, as it was founded on October 7, 1919).

To help get people at home in the celebratory mood, Air France partnered with Cocktail Courier and Citadelle Gin for a drink called the French 90, a play on the French 75. Citadelle is a French gin made with juniper from the South of France in addition to strawberry, lavender, and lemon. Paired with Champagne, a strawberry and lavender syrup, and lemon, it makes for a refreshing and elegant drink. The kits include instructions as well as a chance to win roundtrip business class tickets to Paris for two with VIP touches like a tasting with the Citadelle master distiller once you land. The kits cost $95 and makes four-to-eight drinks, but even if you don’t win the contest it pays off: the cocktails come with a coupon for $90 off your next Air France booking.

Photo: Air France

Those who are in Paris can delve even deeper into the airline’s story. Xavier Ronze, who leads costume design workshops at the Paris Opera ballet, is creating five dresses to be shown at the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann that represent Air France’s history. Fashion shows will showcase Air France style through the uniforms of pilots, crew, staff, and mechanics, not to mention couture pieces from designers like Christian Dior, Cristóbal Balenciaga, and Christian Lacroix.

Galeries Lafayette is a center of fashion in paris, and alongside the dresses will be vintage Air France goods and design touchpoints. That includes things that people can buy, like limited-edition aircraft models, comfort kits, postcards, baggage tags, notebooks, and iconic Air France posters. There’s even original vintage first- and business-class tableware signed by the painter Jean Picart Le Doux, the sales proceeds of which go to the Air France Foundation. Additionally, goods from some of France’s top luxury designers will be available for purchase only in-store (other select items can also be found on the company’s anniversary collection shop online, for those who can’t make it to Paris).

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