Air Outre Mer (AOM) was founded in 1988 in the French overseas département of the island of Reunion and began scheduled passenger service in 1990. In 1991, Air Outre Mer merged with Air Minerve, a French airline which had operated since 1975. The two companies began operating under the name AOM French Airlines. In 1999, Swissair acquired a 49% stake in the airline. For most of the decade, the airline fiercely competed with Air France on both the French domestic market and on the air routes to the French overseas territories. Due to inappropriate fleet management and overcapacity, the airline quickly accumulated huge debts and consequently ceased operations in 2001.
In March 2001 AOM changed its name to Air Liberté. In September 2001 Air Liberté and AOM French Airlines merged into Airlib. AOM’s disappearance was followed by several other French airlines such as Aeris, Air Littoral and Euralair in the next several years, leaving Air France, Corsair (now Corsairfly) and Star Airlines (now XL Airways France) as the only three largest remaining airlines in France, as of today.