Air France to say au revoir to Orly

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  • AndrewinHK
    Participant

    Reports that Air France will cease flights from Paris Orly by 2026, citing a 40% drop in domestic travel. Air France serves southern cities in France and overseas departments from Orly, all of which will be consolidated to CDG (flights from Orly to Corsica will remain due to public service commitments). Group carrier Transavia will continue to operate from Orly. I have never been vastly impressed with Orly, I’ve used it in recent times to fly Air France from Nice and Vueling to various places in Europe (I like Vueling, of all the major low cost carrier I always found them to be decent) and in days gone by flying Air Liberte to Figari in Corsica which was a BA subsidiary.

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    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Thanks for starting this thread AndrewinHK.

    Yes AF’s senior executive Anne Rigail made the announcement this morning.

    But I believe that when AF refers to a 40 per cent decline in passenger volumes it refers to its own flights rather than a market decline.

    I say that because Easyjet competes out of Paris ORY to both Nice and Toulouse. Easyjet does not serve Paris-Marseilles doubtless because of classic TGVs and budget Ouigo TGVs operating over the high-speed line. (Routes to Nice and Toulouse are not high=speed throughout)

    Easyjet now flies x 5 daily Orly-Toulouse with Nice served up to x8 daily.

    However a good number of customers must have defected to rail because France has taken the air to rail initiative more seriously than other European nations.

    As with BA, France’s national airline believes that domestic flights can be made profitable if they feed customers to lucrative international services.

    News reported [FR] by Les Echos [paywall]

    https://www.lesechos.fr/industrie-services/tourisme-transport/pourquoi-air-france-dira-adieu-a-orly-en-2026-1987897#utm_source=le%3Alec0f&utm_medium=click&utm_campaign=share-links_twitter

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    FDOS
    Participant

    I’ve always had a soft spot for ORY, as a user since 1979.

    Yep, its a bit weird and looks from the ’50s, but it works reasonably well and is far preferable to the hell on earth called CDG.

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    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    FDOS I agree Orly is useful, it’s nice to have an alternative and often quicker to get in and out of than CDG. The fact that CDG has the capacity for Air France to expand, makes a two airport strategy less compelling from a cost perspective, and ultimately makes Air France’s offering at CDG stronger, it makes one wonder why Air France stuck with Orly for so long. I doubt BA would operate from LGW if LHR had the capacity to absorb its routes ex LGW.

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    Rferguson2
    Participant

    @FDOS: Yep, its a bit weird and looks from the ’50s, but it works reasonably well and is far preferable to the hell on earth called CDG.

    I flew Oman Air from CDG in Sept which departed Terminal 1 CDG. I had not departed Terminal 1 since I do not know when but remembered its octopus like structure and the criss crossing escalators. I had arrived at T2 CDG and wasn’t on a thru ticket so had to clear immigration at T2 which was quick and easy. Then off to T1. I and am pretty sure the last time I had to go to T1 it was a nasty bus set up. That was obviously some time ago as a modern transit system whisked me over there.

    I was expecting something completely second rate however once I got airside I nearly choked on my croissant. I have never seen such a stunning terminal. The actual terminal had furnishings on par with what I often find in a business class lounge. It was quiet, efficient, a huge amount of concessions. I would take CDG T1 over Changi, Hong Kong or Doha any day of the week to spend a few hours in.

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    Senator
    Participant

    It looks like the refurbishment of T1 at CDG has improved the customer experience tremendously. I used it frequently for SAS and Lufthansa in the past, and I used to dread it. Now, it looks stunning from the pictures.

    During Covid, I managed to get AF/KL to match my Senator, EuroBonus Gold and BAEC Gold to FlyingBlue Platinum. I used to dread AF and CDG. I still find CDG difficult 2E –> 2F, but 2F –> 2E has been a breeze. Most importantly, no one has a better customer care centre for statusholders. My recent experience was incredible.

    It feels like AF is well-run these days and the experience at CDG improving.

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    FDOS
    Participant

    RF

    I haven’t used T1 for years – my memories are of a ‘spaceport’ akin to a kids TV series in the 1960s!

    My comment on CDG is based on my heavy experience of T2 (with a dishonourable mention for T3) – I’ll probably be using T2B in a couple of weeks 🙁

    The VAL connecting the terminals is a quick and efficient service, as you say and it also gives easy access to a number of hotels by the RER station.

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    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    Interesting AF is moving away from Orly.

    My only experience was flying to FDF in Dec ‘19.
    I found the whole experience good:
    Novotel connected to the terminal.
    Priority security line for premium economy pax.
    Modern, spacious terminal.

    Given AF compete with the likes of Corsair and Air Caraibes to overseas French territories, it sounds like they may be leaving all the Orly traffic to them.

    I guess the vast bulk of their flights are to / from CDG.


    roland
    Participant

    Well I never used Ory only with air inter from and to lys a long time ago it s mainly a low-cost airport now and sun destination like french caribean too the only main score is its proximity to center paris with metro line.

    Having said that CDG IS A NIGHTMARE the staff of ADP is horrible mainly from 93 as they have priority employment at CDG they lack courtesy and training at security and police a passport control too.

    it’s a typically french attitude it will never change.

    all major airports are introducing new scan pax machine which allow liquid and be dressed with coats but CDG NO of course….

    I have been passing through CDG for years i know very well what is going on. the wchr service is atrocious too never there when needed i walk more rapidly than them although i am handicapped!!

    this is not Air France fault but they do pay ADP for a service that is not there quiet frankly

    I am using cdg because i am a sky team member and i collect xp via af otherwise i would choose another carrier and airport

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    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    @AndrewinHK – Perhaps AF would still be at ORY were it not for price competition from EZY which must have driven down yields.

    Yes there has been a shift to rail but note that only Paris-Marseilles offers the fastest rail transit as it’s HS throughout (unlike Nice and Toulouse).


    esselle
    Participant

    I may be wrong but I thought the government had/were planning to ban domestic flights if the same journey could be made from Paris in under 3(?) hours by train.


    MrDarwin
    Participant

    I too like Orly for the nostalgia of the design, reminded me of the old Tegel airport of close curb to gate design (I can’t remember the name of the design). Used to take the city flyer service to LCY when I had a client in the south of Paris which was convenient. I also recall one of those self important people barging through the security line to the front saying “I have priority” whilst knocking everyone with his suitcase, and it was one of the rare occasions I spoke up and said. “I think we all do mate”, and he glowered in response.

    Of course he ended up being sat behind me on my flight and I couldn’t avoid him in such a small airport terminal.

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    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Hello esselle,

    In fact there’s been a lot of misreporting about France and its domestic flights … but not by Business Traveller though.

    The restriction applies only to journeys which take longer than 2.5 hours by TGV.

    However, the so-called “ban” has meant only *three* short routes into ORY (Paris Orly) were cancelled.

    All domestic flights into CDG (whether short or long) remain unchanged.

    That is why Air France continues to fly multiple times daily Lyon-CDG even though there is a direct TGV operating from Lyon to CDG’s train station with the TGV taking around two hours.

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    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    @AMcWhirter indeed, it’s not exactly cheap or speedy to take the train from Nice to Paris, and the volume of flights on that route make flying preferable. I actually don’t mind CDG, the priority security is always well policed and efficient, the airport has a range of hotels close by, the easyJet section of the airport where you get bussed to a remote terminal to collect your bags is a little odd, as is the problem with antisocial behaviour in the public areas of terminal, but as long as you keep your wits about you, nothing to worry about.


    sparkyflier
    Participant

    Some interesting and varied points in this thread, many of which bring up old memories of Orly and CDG, thanks you for AndrewinHK for starting it.

    Re Orly back in the day flew many times between Marseille and there. Initially I flew on the AF “Navette” (shuttle) until I found AOM who used 737-500 and MD-80 and their service was excellent with full meals, when AF only gave a tiny croissant and small coffee.
    On flights from MRS to CDG AF had a better offering but AOM (Air Outre-Mer), which has long since flown into the higher skies was my fave and I really liked the MD-80 – preferable to A320/737 IMO.

    Also once flew on Air Liberte which was also a sad loss, and that I think was into LHR.

    Re CDG even further back in the day when I was an older kid I used that old terminal which as RF2 has well described as being Octopus like, and was there waiting to board flights to Africa on their 747-300s. From RF2’s post today recall the white fuselage, navy tail and.. green doors. Sadly never got to try their DC-10s but those were exciting evenings!

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