DALLAS – Air France (AF) will expand its North American network this winter, opening a new route to Raleigh-Durham (RDU) in North Carolina from its hub in Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG). The airline will also increase frequencies on several other North American services.
The new link between CDG and RDU will be flown three times weekly, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting October 30, 2023. Flights will be operated by the airline’s Boeing 787-9s, carrying 279 passengers in a three-class layout. Flight AF692 will leave CDG at 13:30 local time, arriving at RDU airport at 04:35 local. The flight back will take off at 06:45, landing in France at 08:25 the following day.
AF will be replacing its partner Delta Air Lines (DL) on the route as part of the transatlantic joint-venture agreement between the two. The French flag carrier said the region in North Carolina was very dynamic thanks to the major universities in the area, which form the Research Triangle.
Airport, Airline Comments
“Triangle-area travelers embraced RDU’s nonstop service to Paris when it launched in 2016 and have made it one of their favorite international destinations”, said Michael Landguth, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of RDU Airport. “We welcome the arrival of Air France and the opportunities it provides to connect more travelers from our region with Paris and destinations in Europe, India and beyond.”
Eric Caron, Air France KLM’s general manager for North America, added, “The route will be Air France’s 14th gateway this winter in the United States, providing even more connectivity and ease of access between the transatlantic market. Whether the final destination is Paris or going beyond through Air France’s wide global network, we look forward to welcoming travelers on board soon.”
The French flag carrier will not compete with any airline on this route. Only American Airlines (AA) and Icelandair (FI) fly to Europe from RDU, serving London Heathrow (LHR) and Keflavík International Airport (KEF) respectively.
North American Network
Apart from this new route, AF will continue its Ottawa (YOW) service inaugurated this summer until the end of the 2023-2024 winter season. The flight will still be operated five times weekly, but Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners will replace the airline’s Airbus A330-200s.
Moreover, AF will restart its route between Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP) in Guadeloupe and Montreal (YUL) in Canada, which was already operated last winter. This new route, flown twice weekly by Airbus A320s based in Guadeloupe, shows the expansion of AF’s Caribbean medium-haul network after launching a new route to Belem, Brazil, this summer.
AF will also increase frequencies on some services to Canada and the US. Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) flights from CDG will be operated five times per week instead of thrice weekly flights this summer. Moreover, the airline said new services will be added to YUL and Vancouver (YVR), with “up to 21 and 5 a week, respectively, versus 17 and 3 last winter”.
With all this expansion, AF expects to fly up to 212 weekly flights to 21 destinations in Canada, the US and Mexico. Meanwhile, KLM (KL) also serves 19 North American destinations, some of which AF does not fly to. According to airlinedata.com, AF offered almost a million seats between France and North America from March to June 2023.
Featured Image: AF operates 10 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. Photo: Mateo Skinner/Airways.