The special meaning behind Air France flights AF401 & AF229

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Air France operated two celebratory flights AF401 and AF229 to make a nod to a special event in France’s aviation history.

On March 31, 2021, two Air France wide-bodies took off simultaneously from Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), in Paris, France. A Boeing 777 was carrying out flight AF401 to Santiago (SCL) in Chile, while a Boeing 787 Dreamliner was carrying out flight AF229 to Buenos Aires (EZE) in Argentina.

Adrienne Bolland

Both flights, piloted by women, were commemorating 100 years since French aviation pioneer Adrienne Bolland crossed the Andes in her two-seater Caudron G3.

On April 1, 1921, then a 25-year-old Bolland flew from Mendoza, Argentina, to Santiago, Chile, crossing the Andes. Her 4 hours and 15 minutes flight was especially challenging not only because of extreme temperatures (-26°C) Bollard had to endure but also because her plane could not fly at such altitudes that the range’s summits reach. Therefore, she had to take a risky route flying between and around them.

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