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Air Afrique, la compagnie de l'Afrique – Vintage poster – M HERMEREL – 1963 Sold

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Vintage poster Air Afrique, la compagnie de l'Afrique

M HERMEREL

1963

Rare "Air Afrique, the African company" poster, printed in stone-lithography in 1963 showing their DC-8. Air Afrique was founded on March 28, 1961, headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, and was established as the official transnational carrier for francophone West Africa.Its main shareholders at the time were Société pour le Développement du Transport Aérien en Afrique (SODETRAF) and the following West African countries: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Republic of Upper Volta (today called Burkina Faso) and Senegal. Air Afrique was originally conceived in February 1960 as a joint subsidiary of Air France and Union Aéromaritime de Transport (UAT) to take over the regional services these airlines had operated in Africa.Air Afrique was reconstituted as a joint venture between Air France and UAT and eleven newly independent former French colonies in West Africa. The objective was the creation of a comprehensive network of internal air services within the countries that co-owned Air Afrique as well as international air services within Africa and beyond.Following its merger with Compagnie de Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux (TAI) in 1963, UAT passed on its stake in Air Afrique to UTA. UTA in turn transferred its stake in Air Afrique to SODETRAF, as did Air France. Cameroon and Gabon withdrew from the consortium in the early 1970s, while Togo joined in January 1968.The newly formed multinational airline commenced commercial operations in August 1961 with Douglas C-54/DC-4 and Douglas DC-6 piston-engined equipment. A leased Douglas DC-8 was the first jet aircraft to join Air Afrique's fleet in 1962.Air Afrique launched its first intercontinental, long-haul scheduled service to Paris (operated with Lockheed Constellations) during its first year of operation itself. The airline's long-haul scheduled services also served other major French cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse and Bordeaux, as well as Rome, Geneva and New York JFK. In 1990 Air France became UTA's controlling shareholder. This resulted in UTA's stake in Air Afrique passing into Air France's hands.In 2001, the African governments, which originally owned 68% of the company, sold almost two thirds of their combined shareholding in Air Afrique to Air France and other, private investors in exchange for a $69 million investment in the ailing airline. Air Afrique eventually folded later the same year with debts of US$500 mn and three operational aircraft

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