|Ceased operations||February 2004|
|Headquarters||Montpellier - Méditerranée Airport, Montpellier, France|
|Key people||Marc Dufour President|
Air Littoral was an airline based in France that operated from 1972 to 2004. The airline operated domestic services as well as a small amount of regional routes. The airline also operated feeder services on behalf of Air France.
Air Littoral was founded in April 1972 and originally based at Montpellier - Méditerranée Airport in Montpellier. It started operations on 23 May 1972 with a Nice-Montpellier-Perpignan service. In 1975 it was headquartered at Aérodrome du Castellet.
Over the years KLM, Euralair, Lufthansa and the SAir Group (Swissair), which sold their stake in 2001, all had ownership stakes in Air Littoral. A takeover failed in 2003 and the company was declared bankrupt. A number of groups considered taking over Air Littoral including Azzurra Air (which shortly after ceased operations due to its own financial difficulties), but none succeeded and the airline was closed down by the French authorities in February 2004.
By the moment of bankruptcy Air Littoral was operating a fleet of 17 CRJ-100s from bases in Nice, Montpellier, Paris (Orly) and Marseille, and was well known for the bright livery its aircraft sported in the years before its demise.
In the 1990s, Air Littoral approached Metzler & Associés of Paris for a new identity which would propel it into a new market, and that is what was delivered. However, the design, a mix-and-match collection of identity elements, was so innovative that the airline's executives were afraid to implement it - until they called a company-wide meeting and showed Air Littoral employees models of the aircraft painted in the vivid new style. Marc-Antoine Herrmann, creative director & lead designer for the project told airline officers, "We must show all the positive things associated with the south - its warmth, friendliness, joie de vivre. This is your difference, and you must use it so people will feel they take a part of the south with them when they go on-board."
To help the design team develop a palette and graphic approach unique to the south, mood boards were created displaying photos of the region and examples of its rich graphic heritage.
- Taken from Step-by-Step Graphics magazine, circa 1993
- ATR 42;
- ATR 72;
- Beechcraft 1900;
- Boeing 737-300;
- Bombardier CRJ;
- Embraer EMB 110 Bandeirante (4);
- Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia;
- Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner;
- Fokker F27 Friendship;
- Fokker 70;
- Fokker 100;
- Nord 262.
- 30 July 1997Air Littoral Flight 701, an ATR 42 on a service from Nice, France, to Florence, Italy, overran the runway on landing at Florence Airport, crashed through the perimeter fence and into a ditch next to the nearby A11 motorway. The captain died of his injuries four days later; fourteen other people on board were injured.: