ISSUE #57 – Interview wih Matthieu Tétaud, Commercial Director for Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia & Brunei, Air France KLM
Air France KLM is a global leader in each of its three businesses: passenger transportation, cargo transportation and aeronautics maintenance. The Group is recognised as the sustainable development leader in the air transport sector. From Singapore, Air France offers daily flights to Paris-Charles de Gaulle and daily flights between Singapore and Jakarta operated with Boeing B-777-300 aircraft, while KLM offers daily flights between Singapore and Denpasar, Bali.
WHEN WAS AIR FRANCE FIRST ESTABLISHED IN SINGAPORE AND HOW HAVE YOUR COMPANY AND ITS NAME EVOLVED FROM ITS FIRST YEAR HERE?
In the first half of the 20th century, France was present in the air transport industry in the form of two different entities.
Air France was established in October 1933 from a merger between Air Orient, Air Union, Compagnie Générale Aéropostale, Compagnie Internationale de Navigation Aérienne (CIDNA) and Société Générale des Transports Aériens (SGTA).
Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux (TAI), established in 1946, flew from Paris to Indochina in the early 1950s and merged with Union des Transports Aériens (UTA) and Union Aéromaritime de Transports (UAT) in 1963.
In November 1949, Air France flew between Saigon and Singapore once a week, with tickets issued at 66 The Arcade at Raffles Place. Thanks to the purchase of 24 Caravelles, which could carry up to 90 passengers, flights later increased to five per week to Australia and Tahiti via Bangkok, Rangoon, or Saigon. An order for 17 Boeing 707 in 1959 would serve Far Eastern routes, including Malaya and Singapore.
On January 12th 1990, Air France, Union des Transports Aériens (UTA) French Airlines and Air Inter merged to form one of the world’s largest air transport groups, the Air France Group.
In 1993, UTA became Air France in Singapore.
In November 1949, Air France flew between Saigon and Singapore once a week, with tickets issued at 66 The Arcade at Raffles Place.
WHAT ARE SOME OF UTA’S KEY MILESTONES IN SINGAPORE BEFORE IT MERGED WITH AIR FRANCE?
UTA had a number of firsts in Singapore.
On October 26th 1964, UTA introduced services via Singapore to Australia, which extended to Darwin-Sydney-Noumea and Tahiti. UTA’s DC 8 jets started flying directly from Paris to Singapore on June 15th 1965, with a total flight time of only 11 hours and 35 minutes. In May 1973, UTA debuted its first airline commercial DC10 to Singapore and ten years later in 1983, UTA introduced the B747-300 in Singapore.
WHAT ARE SOME OF AIR FRANCE KLM’S RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN SINGAPORE AND THE REGION?
In November 2014, Air France presented the La Premiere suite in the Singapore Flyer and recreated the luxury experience of ‘France in the Air’ without leaving Singapore: a limo picked you up outside your office and took you to the Flyer, where you boarded the La Première suite and experienced flying La Premiere with the same space, same dining, same entertainment, and same service.
We now have four La Première suites on board Air France fl ights between Paris, Singapore, and Jakarta.
PHOTOS: A UTA carrier | The new La Première suite, available on board flights between Paris, Singapore, and Jakarta
Article published in the FOCUS Magazine “SG50” – May 2015