After the war, Air France traffic increased dramatically. With a renewed fleet, it extended its network worldwide and hired with a vengeance.
On 1 January 1946, Air France employed 6,000 agents. Three years later, there were close to 14,000! Among them, the first stewardesses…
More feminine crews
In just a few days, more than 600 applications were received. After a meeting at Le Bourget, eleven of them were selected. Girls from affluent backgrounds but also former rescue nurses in the air force during the war - and even a hero of the resistance, Alix Unienville. They were between 21 and 30 years old, with a "warm face" personality, distinction ... and they were all single (rule in force until 1963). Their role? "To create a relaxed, pleasant cabin ..." says Odile Cadier, one of the first Air France stewardesses. Dressed in uniforms to stand out from passengers, their first uniforms were designed by Georgette Renal - a military postwar style. They took on the role of a "housewife on board". Flight attendants were renamed cabin crew in 1955.
Women in the cabin and … women in the cockpit
While stewards and stewardesses were already rubbing shoulders in the cabin, it took a bit longer for cockpits to be graced by female presence. The first woman to take control of an Air France plane was Danièle Décuré in 1975. There were 765 Air France pilots in 1950, 2,053 in 1975 and 3,500 today, 268 of whom are women..