Airlines Celebrate 60 Years of Transatlantic Flights to NYC

Air France and KLM are jointly celebrating their 60th anniversary of flight service from Europe to New York City. On May 21, 1946 KLM flew from Amsterdam to New York with 44 passengers. Air France left Paris on June 24 with the same number of passengers and destination. The transatlantic flights at that time were about 20 hours long. By comparison, today’s flights between New York and Paris take about seven hours.

In their first year of transatlantic service, Air France had approximately 7,000 passengers. In 2005, their transatlantic passengers totaled 1.5 million. Fares have also changed drastically. Though ticket prices seem expensive today, they’re only about one-fifth of the price of fares from 1946 when the cost of inflation is considered. Today, Air France has almost twice as many flights from Paris to New York as KLM has from Amsterdam to New York.