Air France and Union Aéromaritime de Transport (UAT) founded Air Afrique in February 1960 as a joint subsidiary to take over regional services in Africa. The new company, Air Afrique (Société de Transports Aériens en Afrique), began domestic operations in June 1961. International services started on 16 October 1961 with a leased Air France Starliner on the route Paris-Marseille-Port Etienne-Dakar-Robertsfield-Abidjan-Accra-Cotonou.
Later, the two Starliners were purchased and painted in the full Air Afrique colors. The Starliners were also used for charter flights, particularly to Mecca on the Hadj pilgrim flights. With the introduction of leased Boeing 707s, the Starliners flew the weekly Paris-Nice-Niamey-Contonu-Lomé-Abidjan route. DC-8s took over the Paris-Abidjan route, and DC-6s the Pan-African network in early 1963. Mismanagement, corruption, and the downturn in the aviation industry after the 11 September 2001 attacks led the airline to a crisis that ended with its liquidation in early 2002.
1962 - 1962