Air Transport World

UTA spreads its wings across the Atlantic.

UTA spreads its wings across the Atlantic

UTA, France's privately owned long-haul airline, born from a merger in 1963, has been virtually born again recently with its first route across the North Atlantic, an order for the Boeing 747-400, and major plans for the future.

The airline was formed out of UAT and TAI, and for decades it has taken its place alongside national carrier Air France to make France the only country on the continent of Europe to maintain two international long-haul airlines. (UTA is part of the Seydoux group, which has its interests mainly in the maritime sector but with participation in others, such as television.)

Duality goes back to 1949, but never in the past has there been double designation on any one route; UTA, its predecessors and Air France were allocated specific spheres of influence. Today, however, this old agreement is moving toward a deeply different interpretation.

Spectacular move

When France this year signed a new bilateral air agreement with the U. …

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