©SERRE Hubert

Orly, past and present

Back to news list

As Orly transforms to improve our customers' airport experience, let's look back at its history...

It all began on January 1, 1918 when the plain bordering the village of Orly welcomed its first aircraft... US air operations settled there as well as the French Navy.
In 1946, the airfield was refurbished and its operation was entrusted to Aéroport de Paris. That same year, Orly became a stronghold of European-American air links, with the launch of the Paris-New York route by Air France by DC-4 on July 1. Orly North was inaugurated in 1948. In 1952, Air France left Le Bourget Airport and transferred its entire operations to Orly, which already welcomed 1.2 million passengers (5 million in 1965).
On February 24, 1961, a new building, made of glass and steel, designed by Henri Vicariot, was inaugurated, making Orly arguably Europe's most modern airport.
In 1970 it welcomed the Company's first Boeing 747. Orly South became synonymous with holidays in the sun. The Orly West Terminal was inaugurated in 1971 for domestic flights.
Air France adopted the "hub and spoke" strategy in 1996 and Roissy-Charles de Gaulle became its main hub. But Orly remained above all the heart of the domestic network, with a flagship product, "La Navette".
Since 2007, Transavia, the Air France-KLM Group's low-cost airline, has been operating scheduled medium-haul and charter flights from France and the Netherlands, also on departure from Orly.

Today, with the opening of a new building connecting the West and South terminals, Paris-Orly becomes a single terminal. Orly 1, 2, 3 and 4 replace the South and West terminals. The aim is to make the travel experience easier, faster and more customer-friendly.

  • © COLLECTION MUSEE AIR FRANCE
  • © COLLECTION MUSEE AIR FRANCE
  • © DELAFOSSE Philippe
Back to news list


Back to top