Air France-KLM to add 44 new winter routes

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Air France-KLM will increase its winter capacity across its network by 2.5% compared with the previous winter season, with 44 new winter routes across long-, medium- and short-haul destinations.

The carrier said better use of its fleet would help it grow, with objectives of 2.8% growth for long-haul, 1.1% for medium- and short-haul, and 11.5% for Transavia low-cost operations.

On its long-haul network, the Franco-Dutch airline group will offer five new winter destinations from Air France’s Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport hub: Seattle, Taipei and Nairobi operated by Air France as well as Fortaleza, Brazil and Mahe, Seychelles with its hybrid airline Joon, which the group said would also continue to serve Cape Town, Mumbai and Cairo, services previously operated by Air France. Joon will increase its flight frequency to Fortaleza to 3X-weekly and KLM will be offering Fortaleza as a new winter destination from its Amsterdam-Schiphol hub.

Air France will increase frequencies to Detroit and New York and KLM to Minneapolis while the group plans to increase seat capacity from Europe to Canada by 10%, with extra Air France flights to Montreal and KLM flights to Toronto and Calgary.

Air France and KLM will add an extra flight to San José, Costa Rica, making for a 30% capacity increase from Europe with four flights per week from Paris and three from Amsterdam, plus a fourth during the mid-December to January peak season. It will also increase frequencies to other South American and Caribbean destinations.

The group plans to increase frequencies to several Asian and Middle Eastern destinations as well as boosting its capacity to Japan by 8% for the winter season, with an additional weekly flight to Osaka from both Paris, operated by Air France, and Amsterdam, operated by KLM as well as two extra flights per week for Air France to Tokyo-Haneda taking the total to 12.

It will also increase capacity by 10% in West Africa.

On its medium- and short-haul network, the group will offer 20 new routes compared with the previous winter season from its main hubs and regions.

Within Europe, Joon will operate flights to Budapest, Hungary and Bergen, Norway that were previously operated by Air France, as well as continuing to operate services to Rome and Naples, Italy; Oslo, Norway and Istanbul, Turkey in continuation of the summer season. Joon will offer a total of 10 destinations for the winter season on its medium-haul network, the group said. Transavia will expand its network from all its bases in France and the Netherlands with 18 new routes compared with last winter making for a 3.8% capacity increase from the Netherlands and a 25% from France.

The airline group said it was continuing to invest in its fleet and cabins and would offer 29 destinations in the winter season on Boeing 787 aircraft while the Airbus A380 will fly to seven destinations.

In January, Air France will reveal its new business, premium economy and economy long-haul cabins on its first renovated Airbus A330 on flights to Houston; Accra, Ghana and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. A total of 15 Airbus A330s will be refurbished by the beginning of 2020.

All of KLM’s long-haul flights will offer its new World Business Class product with fully flat seats and all Boeing 777s, 787s and Airbus A330s will have new economy cabins from January 2019.

Transavia France is set to take delivery of a 34th new Boeing 737 in December 2018.