New daily service between Paris and Washington scheduled to launch in June.
As expected, Air France has announced that the newest aircraft in its expanding A380 fleet will be used to operate a daily service next year between Paris and Washington DC. The daily service will be effective from 6 June 2011, making the capital of the United States the second US destination served by the airline’s super jumbo after New York, which was launched a year ago. Washington DC will be Air France’s fifth A380 destination, the other four currently being New York-JFK, Johannesburg, Tokyo and Montreal.
The airline is expected to launch a sixth A380 route to Mexico City, possibly also next summer. With the A380, Air France says it can rationalise its frequencies on these busy routes by combining two flights that leave at similar times while offering the same seat capacity at a 20% reduction in operating costs. The main deck of the A380 boasts the equivalent capacity of a Boeing 777-200, and the upper deck that of an Airbus A340-300.
Air France’s A380s are equipped with 538 seats divided between three classes. La Première (First) has nine seats on the main deck; Business comprises 80 seats on the upper deck; and Voyageur (Economy) has 449 seats divided between the two decks. Starting in summer 2011, the A380s will be progressively equipped with Premium Voyageur, situated between the Business and Voyageur cabins, offering 38 seats in this new class and 389 in Voyageur.
Flights depart Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 10:40 and arrive at Washington at 13:00 local time. The return leg departs Washington at 16:25 to reach Paris at 05:45. Flight bookings and ticket sales open today.