The Most Interesting Transatlantic Flight Returns In 2020

Filed Under: Other Airlines

Well, it looks like this very cool flight is returning for the third year in a row…

Air Saint-Pierre’s Paris Flights

In the summer of 2018 a fascinating domestic transatlantic route launched — it operated seasonally once weekly.

Specifically, ASL Airlines operated a Boeing 737-700 that was marketed by Air Saint-Pierre between Paris and Saint Pierre and Miquelon.

What’s Saint Pierre and Miquelon? It’s a self-governing territory of France, situated in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean, near Newfoundland and Labrador. The islands cover an area of about 93 square miles, and have a population of just about 6,000 people.

The territory’s airline, Air Saint-Pierre, only has turboprops, which aren’t capable of operating the route. So they leased a Boeing 737 to operate the flight once weekly flight.

This was the first time ever that we saw a nonstop link between these territories and mainland France. There were some other things that made this route interesting:

  • The runway in Saint Pierre is only 5,900 feet long, so the plane had to be weight restricted, meaning the flight could only transport at most 100 passengers
  • I had intended to take this flight in 2018, but was shocked to find out that the flight was sold out on almost every single date that it operated; I wasn’t expecting that, especially given that the route was subsidized

The route ended up returning in 2019, with almost exactly the same schedule, times and pricing. Well, now the flight is returning for yet another year.

Paris To Saint Pierre Flights Return In 2020

The once weekly flight between Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Paris will be returning in 2020, between June 22 and September 7, 2020.

The route will once again be operated by an ASL Airlines France Boeing 737-700, and the flight will be marketed and sold by Air Saint-Pierre. The flight will operate westbound on Mondays and eastbound on Tuesdays, as follows:

Paris to Saint Pierre and Miquelon departing 4:00PM arriving 6:30PM
Saint Pierre and Miquelon to Paris departing 10:30AM arriving 8:05PM

As you can see, the plane sits on the ground in Saint Pierre for quite a while. This is so that the crew can get their rest and operate the flight back the next day, rather than making them stay there for over a week.

I imagine the airline was able to get a decent deal on parking at the airport for 16 hours. 😉 It’s also interesting since this is an eastbound daytime flight, which is fairly rare.

Air Saint-Pierre Fares To & From Paris

If you want to book a seat on this flight, here’s the pricing for travel originating in Paris (as you can see, a one-way ticket costs 581.09EUR):

Then here’s the pricing from Saint-Pierre (as you can see, a one-way ticket costs 550EUR):

Online bookings aren’t possible, but you can request a reservation through this link.

I couldn’t make this flight in 2018 due to lack of availability, and in 2019 I couldn’t make it work time-wise, so maybe this should be a goal for 2020?

Bottom Line

I find this Air-Saint Pierre flight to be absolutely fascinating. It’s so cool when airlines not only try a route like this, but it actually succeeds and returns year after year.

While the link between Paris and this French territory is obvious, it’s still kind of cool and surprising that such a small territory can support a flight like this. But I guess the downside was fairly limited, since the route was subsidized from the beginning.

Personally I find this to be the most interesting transatlantic route, with Condor’s Frankfurt to Whitehorse flight being a close second (I took this in the summer of 2018).

Anyone else considering taking this flight in 2020?

(Featured image photo credit: Anna Zvereva)

Comments
  1. My wife and I went to St. Pierre in 2014. It is a very interesting place. The island is very small and you can probably explore it in a day. We did not get to go to Miquelon. Aside from the novelty of being in Europe in the North Atlantic, the food and beverage were top quality and I loved seeing the colorful houses by the sea.

    We took the boat from Fortune, NL after a drive from St. John’s. This is probably my most interesting passport stamp too!

  2. Also interesting is that the islands are in time zone: UTC-3 (only 4 hours from metropolitan France). Newfoundland is UTC-3.5.

  3. We are considering taking this flight, as my husband and I have homes in Atlantic Canada and France. I like that daytime eastbound flight!

    We’d first need to fly from Halifax to Saint-Pierre, which unfortunately would involve an overnight, due to the 10:30 a.m. departure to Paris. However, it’s a unique flight and we just might go for it – at least one way. (Air France/Flying Blue mileage be damned!)

  4. Amazing food there! Really surprised me! Wanted to travel to Miquelon as some of my ancestors were exiled there by the British in Quebec, but the weather kept the flights between the islands from operating. Got to enjoy an extra day on the main island in the fog which I actually found quite walkable.

  5. Is it possible that the French Government is subsidising these flights in some way? The political advantages of Petite France are pretty obvious

  6. Very interesting. Any trip report should include a brief review of the island, not just the flight.

    I think this is the 2nd most interesting. BA A318 LCY-SNN-JFK is the most interesting.

  7. Mon Dieu! France holds a colony in North Americ I back myjz North—- to the present day?!!! €s are the legal currency in a region of N. aAmerica?? Next you’ll tell me they speak French lol
    I went up to QC 1st time earlier in the month. Truly lovely- and cold- part of this continent. Hope to see more,,

  8. Living in Montreal, knowing there is a daytime flight to France is definitely noteworthy! But I would have to fly in the day before…

  9. French people are even worse than Americans. Not as fat, but more bigoted and arrogant. News flash: French is not a world language.

  10. @Bour: I don’t think there is a direct subsidy. But, I think the residents of the island get some kind of grant to visit the home country, which they can spend on this flight or on a connecting flight through YUL. I don’t know how often they get this grant and whether there are any other conditions attached.

  11. I spent a week in and near St. Johns Newfoundland a few years ago. The ferry schedule didn’t allow for me to visit St Pierre and Miquelon. Beautiful country, see St. Johns, the eastern most point of North America, and of course the famous town of Dildo.

  12. Why is it surprising that a French territory of 6000 people could sustain a once weekly flight with 100 passengers to the capital city during the peak summer period? Especially when it’s right next to Canada – a popular tourist destination for French people.

  13. With smuggling pretty well over (it was big during Prohibition), and fishing much reduced (due to shrinking stocks), the two major industries in St-Pierre are tourism and French bureaucracy. Residents get to vote in French elections, have authentic gendarmes, use the Euro, but do a lot of their shopping at the Wal-Mart in Newfoundland. I imagine there are bureaucrats going back and forth between St-Pierre and France on a regular basis, plus the St-Pierre kids get to go to university in France, so maybe that helps account for 100 passengers a week. It’s a fascinating place (for a couple of days), the food is great and the wines (selection and prices) terrific.

  14. such a shame they couldn’t get hold of an A220-300 to operate this service.
    well within range (4,288km flight against a range of 6,200km) and with a MTOW runway requirement just 300ft longer than what’s available, it would mean just a small load restriction.
    all that for a 50% increase capacity !

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