Today, Air France is celebrating the milestone of 75 years of operations from Manchester Airport.
On 16 June 1946, Air France’s first flight from Manchester took off to Paris, operated by Dakota F-BADX.
It was also the first post-war scheduled service from Manchester, after a gap of nearly seven years.
The flight arrived from Le Bourget Airport, Paris to drop off one passenger and pick up a VIP party of 18.
The party returned to Manchester the next day on another Dakota aircraft, which stayed overnight and then operated the first public service at 09:39 on 18 June, with three fare-paying passengers on-board.
Air France then began serving the route three times per week, operated during the winter by Scottish Airlines’ Dakotas.
Bénédicte Duval, general manager of Air France KLM UK & Ireland commented on the anniversary: “We are delighted to today be commemorating 75 years of Air France operating out of Manchester.
“In the 75 years since we began flying from the airport, the world has changed dramatically and demand for travel has grown rapidly throughout the years.
Karen Smart, managing director at Manchester Airport said: “It’s great to see Air France celebrating such a milestone anniversary here at Manchester Airport.
“As one of our first airlines they are a longstanding partner, who over the decades have offered excellent connectivity to Paris and beyond to the millions of passengers in our vast catchment area.
“Post pandemic I look forward to seeing the airline increase its presence at Manchester and celebrating many more anniversaries in the years ahead.”