Take to the skies with Aigle Azur
As the second-biggest airline in France after the flag carrier, Aigle Azur -- or 'the Blue Eagle' -- can claim to be the nation's favourite alternative airline. Its history stretches back to the 1940s, when it was one of the first independent and privately-owned airlines to emerge in post-war France. Today, its focus remains on the French-speaking countries of Africa including Mali, Guinea, Algeria and Senegal as well as on domestic services. However, it has continued to expand its network map, flying to four destinations in Portugal (a service it began in 2006) and to Lebanon (which it added in 2017).
In over 70 years in the business, the airline has come a long way from flying expats home from Tunisia to France. Today, it operates 300 scheduled flights every week and serves around two million passengers per year.
Operating from both Orly and Charles De Gaulle in Paris, the operator also offers scheduled flights from four other French airports, including Marseille and Lyon St-Exupery. A fleet of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft -- each with a capacity of 180 -- is perfectly suited to its mid-range route map.
Flying with Aigle Azur
The airline offers a choice of travel classes.
Economy travellers can enjoy in-flight meals and a free service of hot and cold drinks as well as comfortable leather seats.
Business class services on the ground include access to airport lounges and priority boarding and disembarkation. In-flight, passengers have a more spacious 2:2 seat layout, wines and snacks, an on-board comfort kit and complementary newspapers as well as dedicated service by the cabin crew.
The Azur Plus loyalty programme offers its members a host of upgrades, offers and excess baggage allowances. It is graded in three categories -- Sky, Space and Infinity -- while there is also an additional bonus miles programme for travellers under 25.
Business and economy class customers can use the online check-in service -- from 48 hours to three hours before the scheduled departure time -- to print a boarding card or receive an email or text.
Hand baggage must be under 10 kg (15 kg for business class) and no bigger than 40 x 55 x 20 cm
Hold baggage conditions vary by destination (for the full list, see here ), but each item is normally subject to a 23-kg limit, with no individual item exceeding 158 cm.