DALLAS – Air France (AF) is preparing for a busy summer of 2022 as it plans to serve 196 destinations, reaching 90% of its 2019 capacity by then. The French carrier’s increased number of summer destinations is but one example of the gradual recovery of the industry.
On the long-haul network, the airline’s seat offer from Europe to North America, Africa, the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean will exceed 2019 levels. AF plans to add frequencies to some routes in Africa and to keep the winter services to Zanzibar (ZNZ) in Tanzania and Banjul (BJL) in Gambia.
However, there will be fewer flights to Asia amid the closing of Russian airspace and low demand due to COVID restrictions. AF still plans to serve all of its destinations, but with reduced frequencies. The airline will offer more flights to India, as the country is reopening to international travel.
North America Exceeds 2019 Capacity
Air France decided to add capacity from Paris to the US, its leading long-haul destination. During the summer, the French airline will operate close to 200 flights per week, which is 20% more than in 2019. In total, AF will serve 14 destinations in the country.
The most important long-haul destination for the French flag carrier is New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK). The airline decided to reintroduce its daily flight between Paris-Orly (ORY) and JFK, along with the other six daily flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG).
The carrier and its American partner, Delta Air Lines (DL), have introduced a special “shuttle” service between the two cities. The two airlines operate eight daily flights between CDG and JFK (six AF flights and two DL flights). Starting in early June, the airlines are to offer regular departures every one or two hours during the day from CDG and during the afternoon and evening from JFK.
Last week, AF reopened its route between CDG and Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW), with five weekly flights. Moreover, the airline will resume its seasonal route to Denver (DEN) with three flights per week. AF had already flown this route last year during the summer using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.
In Canada too, AF plans to exceed its pre-pandemic levels, with a 25% increase in capacity. The airline will inaugurate a new route from CDG to Quebec City (YQB), with three weekly flights. The airline says it will become the first European airline in terms of capacity between Europe and Canada.
On the medium-haul network, AF plans to reach capacity levels similar to 2019 in July and August. The airline will launch 23 seasonal routes from CDG this summer, including three new destinations: Zakynthos (ZTH) in Greece, Tirana (TIA) in Albania, and Tenerife (TFS) in Spain, as a continuation of the winter season.
From ORY, the airline will open two new seasonal routes to North Africa. The airline will serve Algiers (ALG) with three flights per day, and Tunis (TUN), with one daily flight. The airline also wants to add flights to some destinations in Spain and Italy.
On the domestic market, AF will offer 43 seasonal routes from the French regions. This includes many flights between Corsica and regional French airports such as Bordeaux (BOD), Lyon (LYS), Nantes (NTE) or Strasbourg (SXB).
Moreover, the airline will also offer four international routes from regional airports in France. Starting in July, the airline will fly between Nice (NCE) and London Heathrow (LHR), NCE and Heraklion (HER), Marseille (MRS) and TUN, and between MRS and Santorini (JTR)
With these numerous seasonal routes and higher frequencies to major destinations, AF is preparing for a very busy summer. The airline is recovering from the fallout of COVID on the industry, almost reaching pre-pandemic levels and even exceeding them in some markets… Bon voyage!
Featured image: Air France operates many Boeing 777 on its long-haul routes. Photo: Liam Funnell/Airways