Air France is bolstering its Canadian network out of Paris-Charles de Gaulle, with new routes, service resumptions and bolstered frequencies.
Let us start with Ottowa, which will be new to the Air France network. The airline will launch a five-times-a-week service to the Canadian capital from 27th June. Planned operations are listed below:
AF364 DEPART CDG 13:10 ARRIVES YOW 15:05 AF361 DEPART YOW 17:05 ARRIVES CDG 06:16 Commences 27th June Operates Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from both Paris and Ottowa Booked Equipment: Airbus A330-200
Air France will utilise an Airbus A330-200 on this route, configured with 244 seats aboard. This is split with 36 in Business, 21 in Premium Economy, and 167 in Economy.
It will also be the only direct link between the Canadian capital and Europe.
The Air France bus service currently available to customers free of charge between Montreal-Trudeau Airport and Ottawa will continue to offer two daily shuttles. Two daily bus services also link Montreal-Trudeau and Quebec City.
Quebec will return for the summer season, with the airline planning a three-times-a-week service to the city.
Air France Boeing 787-9 – Image, Economy Class and Beyond.
AF352 DEPART CDG 20:45 ARRIVE YQB 21:55 AF353 DEPART YBQ 23:55 ARRIVE CDG 12:20+1 Resumes 2nd May 2022 Operates Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays Booked Equipment: Boeing 787-9
The route was started in 2022 for the summer, and it seems to be popular enough for the airline to have another stab at it, with a Boeing 787-9 providing the lift between the two cities.
Additional Capacity for other Cities
Flights to destinations served year-round by Air France will also be increased, boosting the overall flight capacity to Canada by more than 25% compared to 2019.
Consequently, Air France will be connecting travellers between its Paris-Charles de Gaulle hub and:
- Montreal with up to three daily flights,
- Toronto with two daily flights,
- Vancouver with one daily flight.
In addition, KLM, part of Air France-KLM Group, will connect Amsterdam-Schiphol airport to the following destinations in Canada this summer:
- Toronto with up to 13 vols flights weekly
- Calgary with 7 flights weekly
- Vancouver with up to 7 flights weekly
- Montreal with up to 5 flights weekly
- Edmonton with up to 4 flights weekly
A KLM bus service also runs between Montreal-Trudeau and Ottawa.
It’s about networks and capacity
Air France is seeking to build on last year, with the seasonal service to Quebec returning, along with a new route to try to Ottowa. In summer of 2023, Air France will operate up to 50 weekly flights to 5 destinations in Canada, which is a major commitment to the country.
As airlines continue to rebuild networks, they also need to ensure that capacity is there to match.
Combined with the KLM offering, Air France offers a lot of capacity over the Atlantic to Canada, without the need to go via the USA.
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Surprisingly aggressive – not sure there’s enough Ottawa-to-Europe traffic to support this route on 5x/wk A330s. But lack of a Skyteam partner between YOW and YUL and no other European service from YOW makes it a possible winner. Getting from YOW to Dorval* is a two-hour drive, although there is VIA Rail service with a 2km shuttle bus to the terminals.
Skyteam’s lack of a full intra-Canadian partner hurts them sometimes – although AC has a partnership with Porter, it’s only over US hubs (BOS, EWR, IAD).