• Air France, Airbus, A220-500

    Air France

    IATA/ICAO Code:
    AF/AFR

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Hub(s):
    Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport

    Year Founded:
    1933

    Alliance:
    SkyTeam

    Airline Group:
    Air France-KLM

    CEO:
    Anne Rigail

    Country:
    France

Air France is gearing up for a busy winter, with its schedule for the coming season representing activity levels close to those seen before the coronavirus pandemic. It will serve 171 destinations from its Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) hub, including five new and returning routes. Let’s take a closer look at its plans.

Newark returns after a decade

As Simple Flying explored yesterday, Air France plans to operate its highest-ever volume of North America-bound flights over the coming months. The bulk of these will serve the US, with one key addition this winter being the return of the carrier’s direct flights between Paris CDG and Newark Liberty International (EWR).

Air France has served Newark before, but not since 2012. Instead, its operations in the New York area have been concentrated through JFK Airport. While this will still remain the dominant destination (with six daily flights plus two operated by fellow SkyTeam member Delta Air Lines), Newark now offers an added degree of choice.

The airline’s relaunched Paris-Newark flights, which will resume on December 12th this year, will operate daily, using Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. According to SeatGuru, Air France has four different three-class seating configurations for this type, with business class cabins ranging in size from 16 to 40 passengers.

Air France Boeing 777

The airline’s upcoming Newark-bound flights will be its first for a decade. Photo: Air France

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Austrian expansion

Closer to home, Air France is also planning to launch two new routes from Paris CDG to Austrian destinations this winter. Starting on December 10th, the French flag carrier will begin deploying Embraer E190 regional jets on twice-weekly services to Innsbruck Airport (INN), a facility that handles considerable winter ski traffic.

Another Austrian airport with increased traffic in the winter season is Salzburg (SZG), situated in the north of the country close to the German border. Air France plans to cash in on this by serving the facility weekly from Paris CDG, once again using the Embraer E190. It will be the only carrier on the route as it stands, which will also be the case for its newfound presence on the Paris-Innsbruck corridor.

Likely looking to cash in on the leisure-heavy traffic on these routes, the two Paris-Innsbruck rotations will occur on Saturdays and Sundays. The former of these will depart the French capital at 09:35, with the latter taking to the skies at 16:05 (both under the flight number AF1056). Meanwhile, the Salzburg services will also be a Saturday affair, departing at 16:15 under the flight number AF1152.

Air France Airbus A320

Air France seems to be targeting leisure traffic with its European winter route additions. Photo: Getty Images

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Going north

As well as serving Austria’s winter tourism hotspots, Air France is also looking further north this winter with the launch of flights to two Nordic destinations. Also commencing on December 10th, the French flag carrier’s network will get a new northernmost destination when it begins flying its Airbus A319s to Norway’s Tromsø Airport (TOS). These flights will depart at 11:05 as AF1220.

Meanwhile, Finland’s Kittilä Airport (KTT) will see larger aircraft, with the A320 rostered to fly there once a week from Paris CDG. Located inside the Arctic Circle, the airport is a key hotspot for tourism in the region of Lapland. The flights will depart the French capital at 10:05 as AF1322. Like Tromsø, they will last almost four hours, with Air France being the only direct option on both routes.

What do you make of Air France’s winter plans? Will you be flying on any of its new routes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Source: simpleflying.com

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