Air France has become the first European carrier to deploy an A380 to Shanghai.
The airline this week began operating the superjumbo on three of its 14 weekly flights to Pu Dong airport. This will increase to four weekly from October 28 (see news, August 8).
The A380 will ply the route on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, departing Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport at 2320 and arriving at Shanghai at 1620 the following day.
Return flights operate on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, leaving Shanghai at 2320 and landing in the French capital at 0535 the following day.
The advantage of an early morning arrival into Charles De Gaulle is that passengers then have all day to make connections throughout Europe and Africa.
The A380 features a four-class configuration with nine seats in first, 80 in business, 38 in premium economy, and 389 in economy class.
Air France is also providing additional services to accommodate Chinese passengers, including Mandarin-speaking ground staff, mobile services and dual language in-flight entertainment, as well as Chinese cuisine on board and a new dedicated corporate website for Chinese customers.
The carrier currently operates 28 weekly flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle and Shanghai Pudong, 14 of which are on a codeshare basis by China Eastern Airlines.