By Matteo Giardini
Air France Focuses on Europe, the Caribbean for Winter 2021
The ongoing pandemic has led many carriers to shift their operational focus to leisure routes in recent months in an attempt to capture any remaining demand. Yesterday, Air France become the latest airline to join the trend as the carrier announced six new routes departing from Paris’s Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airports for Pointe-à-Pitre, located in the French territory of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. In addition, Air France will roll over seven summer destinations for the winter season this year.
From Paris-Charles de Gaulle, the carrier will launch two new leisure destinations, the first of which is Tenerife, Spain. The flight will be operated twice a week on Mondays and Saturdays beginning Nov. 1 using an Airbus A319 with 143 seats. The second destination operated from their main hub airport is Rovaniemi, Finland. This flight will also be flown twice a week with an Airbus A319 with 143 seats. This flight will run from Dec. 4 to March 5 on Wednesdays and Sundays.
Both destinations are popular tourist destinations in Europe. While Tenerife is catered to sun-seeking travelers, Rovaniemi is located on the Arctic Circle known for the Northern Lights as well as being the “Official Hometown of Santa Claus.”
These two new destinations are additions to the already expanding network which includes the leisure routes announced last month to Zanzibar, Tanzania; Colombo, Sri Lanka and Muscat, Oman.
Meanwhile, destinations that will be rolled over from summer 2021 include Seville, Las Palmas and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Tangiers, Morocco; Faro, Portugal; Djerba, Tunisia and Krakow, Poland.
Unlike the new destinations from Charles de Gaulle, routes from Orly are less leisure-focused. Air France will deploy an Airbus A318 with 131 seats to both Berlin and Munich as a part of the new schedule. The two German destinations will be operated daily from Oct. 31. Interestingly, Air France already operates these routes from Charles de Gaulle and will therefore complement the existing service.
From Pointe-à-Pitre, the carrier will also begin flying to two existing destinations within the network. The carrier will introduce new services to Montreal twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays with departures from Montreal on Wednesdays and Sundays. The route will be flown using an Airbus A320 with 168 seats starting on Nov. 23. The next day, Air France will begin flights between Pointe-à-Pitre and New York. These will be operated on Wednesdays and Saturdays with return trips from New York on Thursdays and Sundays. The flights will be operated by an Airbus A320 with 168 seats as well.
Air France has based two Airbus A320s at Poite-à-Pitre for its operations within the Caribbean. These aircraft provide Pointe-à-Pitre connections to Miami as well as other cities within French overseas departments such as Fort de France, Cayenne and Port au Prince.