Night Flight - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Night Flight

By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • Release Date: 2016-03-27
  • Genre: Fiction & Literature


Night Flight (French title: Vol de Nuit) is the second novel by French writer and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It was first published in 1931 and became an international bestseller.
The book is based on Saint-Exupéry's experiences as an airmail pilot and as a director of the Aeroposta Argentina airline, based in Argentina. The characters were also loosely based on people Saint-Exupéry knew in South America. Notably, the character of Rivière was inspired by Didier Daurat, operations director of the Aéropostale. More details can be found in Saint-Exupéry's 1939 memoir, Wind, Sand and Stars.
Fabien is an airmail pilot of the Patagonia Mail. He has to deliver mail in Argentina during a cyclone. Even though the storm is dangerous, Rivière, Fabien's boss, tells him to fly that night, thereby endangering him. Rivière feels responsible for having sent Fabien on this risky flight, and keeps in radio contact with him. Fabien's wife is waiting, too. The situation becomes more and more dangerous, as Fabien is bound to die. Then the radio messages cease, and Rivière can't do anything but try to calculate when Fabien's aircraft will crash. This flight disconcerts Rivière—who, up to that point, had believed that no flights should be delayed, in order to make flying more profitable. The plot ends there, but it is almost certain that Fabien has died.