The French have spent two years attempting to rescue Air France. They have failed.
It started when one of their pilots greeted his co-pilot with a shout of 'Hi Jacques' and the ensuing riot meant that the flight never even got off the ground. From there things just went from bad to worse.
Following the disaster where an Air France plane crashed into the Atlantic in 2007 rumours began circulating that it was cheaper to sail to Calais by Air France than by P & O. This did their reputation no good at all.
At one stage it was reputed that Virgin Atlantic were going to bail Air France out. Richard Branson said they would be perfectly aligned with the VIRGIN brand... as they don't go all the way. However, this also failed to materialise, largely because Branson offended them with a 'joke' during his Press Conference which coincided with The Tour de France: "What do you call a pointless race that covers 2,200 miles throughout France? The French." It went down like a (Virgin) lead balloon.
Branson said of the failed salvage attempt, "You've just got to hand it to the French. After all, they certainly won't fight for it."