Now that the war, with the inevitable misery and destruction, was over, an abundance of Douglas DC3 and DC4 surplus american aircraft and the construction of French Bloch 161 Languedoc new technology aircraft enabled French air transport to take off again. Air travel was gradually changing, increasingly becoming the rule rather than the exception.
Air France became a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as well as of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), founded in 1945, and took its place among the world's major airlines. The French Government authorized the setting up of new airlines, the TAI ( Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux) in 1946, and SATI in 1948, which subsequently became UAT ( Union Aéromaritime de Transport) in 1949.
A new dimension
In march of 1946, the first stewardesses appeared, and in June the first students took the entrance exam into the Ecole des Apprentis de Vilgenis. The Paris-Invalides Terminal opened, with buses providing transportation from Paris to the Airport.
On 1 july of the same year, the Paris-New-York flight was officially inaugurated, operated by a DC4 with a flight time of 19 hours and 50 minutes. In 1947, Air France and the French Postal Services set up the Centre d'Exploitation Postale, called the Postale de Nyuit (night mail). It was run by Didier Daurat to begin with, and trhen by raymond Vanier as from 1st January 1948.
The network then covered 160 000 km, the largest in the world.
Air France regained its position among the world's leading airlines. It operated a fleet of 130 aircraft and got off to a flying start over the next few years. From 1 January 1946 to 31 December 1948, the number of staff averaging 31 years old more than doubled, going from 6,033 to 13,725. 61% of these had less than 2 years' seniority.