Air France has announced Washington will be its fifth A380 destination from June next year.
The French flag carrier will roster its A380 aircraft onto flights AF028 (departing Paris CDG 1040 and arriving at Washington Dulles at 1300) and AF039 (departing Washington at 1625 and arriving in Paris at 0545 the next day), commencing June 6, 2011.
The carrier currently serves Washington twice daily, but says that “with the A380, Air France can rationalize its frequencies on these busy routes by combining two flights which leave at similar times while offering the same seat capacity at a 20 per cent reduction in operating costs”. Delta codeshares on this route, as part of the transatlantic joint venture between these carriers, KLM and Alitalia.
The route will be the second US destination served by Air France’s A380, folllowing the launch of the carrier’s superjumbo flights to New York last year. Washington DC will also be the fifth A380 route for the carrier – Johannesburg, Tokyo, Montreal and the two US destinations.
United also serves the Paris CDG-Washington route daily (with Continental, US Airways and Lufthansa codesharing on the route), while BA’s Openskies subsidiary launched a five-times weekly service from Paris Orly in May this year, using B757-200 aircraft (see online news February 9).
Report by Mark Caswell