MIAMI — Beginning November 21st, Air France will operate flights between Atlanta (ATL) and Pointe à Pitre in Guadeloupe.
Air France will fly the Airbus A320 with 170 seats on the route that will run twice weekly. The route may expand to a higher frequency at a later date.
Speaking to Airways, Atlanta Airport Director of Policy and Communications Reese McCranie said “At the world’s busiest and most efficient airport, we are always looking to expand routes and offer customers more choice. Our partners at Air France have added a terrific destination and we are excited to continue working with them for future growth opportunities.”
From Atlanta, Air France already operates twice daily service to Paris (CDG) with the Boeing 777-300ER.
Flight schedules (in local time):
AF608: leaves Pointe à Pitre at 16:20, arrives in Atlanta at 20:05;
Flights operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
AF609: leaves Atlanta at 10:40; arrives in Pointe à Pitre at 15:50;
Flights operated on Wednesdays.
AF609: leaves Atlanta at 10:15; arrives in Pointe à Pitre at 15:25.
Flights operated on Sundays.
Customers departing from Fort de France (Martinique) and Cayenne (French Guiana) will be able to fly to Atlanta as a continuation of the Pointe à Pitre service on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Customers departing from Atlanta and continuing from Pointe à Pitre will be able to fly to Fort de France on Wednesdays and Sundays as well as to Cayenne on Wednesdays.
Currently, Air France operates a small but respectable operation in the Caribbean. The airline has two Airbus 320s based in the Caribbean along with a crew base.
In the French Caribbean, Air France operates routes to Pointe à Pitre (Guadeloupe), Fort de France (Martinique), Cayenne (French Guiana), Port au Prince (Haiti), Miami (United States) and now Atlanta (United States).
In total, Air France operates 60 weekly flights to these destinations. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, Air France flies to Havana, Sint Maarten, and Santo Domingo.
According to Air France, “This new service is in line with the Group’s offensive strategy. As part of its Trust Together corporate project, the expansion of the fleet combined with a more intensive use of its aircraft makes it possible to offer new routes.”
After years of losses, Air France management are making serious changes to the airline. Just yesterday, Air France unveiled a new airline, JOON, with the goal of turning more routes profitable and fending off Middle Eastern carriers.
Just as JOON was created to fend off Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways, Air France’s new route to Atlanta may have been set up in defense of Norwegian Air expanding in the French Caribbean.
From Pointe à Pitre, Norwegian now operates seasonal service to Fort Lauderdale, New York-JFK, and Providence. From Martinique, Norwegian currently serves New York-JFK and will soon be launching service to Fort Lauderdale and Providence as well.
While Norwegian has a cost advantage with its low-cost structure with cheaper crew costs, Air France has an ace with Delta Air Lines. With their new Atlanta route, Air France will be able to connect customers to more than 60 destinations on Delta metal.
Oppositely, Delta will be able to use their massive Atlanta hub to funnel passengers from throughout the United States and into the French Caribbean.