Last week Air France revealed that it would add a couple of cool new routes this winter, which I’d sure love to fly as an avgeek. These routes are now on sale, so we have more details, including the schedules and how many miles are required for a ticket.
Air France adds Pointe-à-Pitre routes
This winter, Air France will be adding two new North America routes out of the Caribbean. Specifically, the airline will be flying from Montreal and New York to Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe.
Air France’s Guadeloupe to Montreal flight
As of November 23, 2021, Air France will fly twice weekly between Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP), Guadeloupe, and Montreal (YUL), with the following schedule:
AF624 Pointe-à-Pitre to Montreal departing 4:20PM arriving 8:50PM [Tue, Fri]
AF625 Montreal to Pointe-à-Pitre departing 1:00PM arriving 6:50PM [Wed, Sat]
Air France will face some competition on this route, as Air Canada and Air Transat both intend to fly between Montreal and Guadeloupe this winter. While Air France as such has great name recognition, people are unlikely to realize the airline would operate a route like this. Fortunately that’s an area where online travel agencies level the playing field.
Air France’s Guadeloupe to New York flight
As of November 24, 2021, Air France will fly twice weekly between Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP), Guadeloupe, and New York (JFK), with the following schedule:
AF622 Pointe-à-Pitre to New York departing 4:00PM arriving 8:10PM [Wed, Sat]
AF623 New York to Pointe-à-Pitre departing 7:40AM arriving 1:05PM [Thu, Sun]
The 1,832-mile flight is blocked at 4hr25min southbound and 5hr10min northbound.
Air France will face some competition on this route, as JetBlue intends to fly between New York and Guadeloupe this winter. Interestingly a few years back Norwegian flew some 737s from the United States and Canada to the Caribbean, including operating this route. Those flights ended in 2019.
Air France’s Caribbean-based A320s
Both of these routes will be operated by Air France’s Airbus A320 aircraft, featuring 168 seats. Air France has a subfleet of two A320s (each roughly 11 years old) based in the Caribbean, with the registration codes F-HEPB and F-HEPC. These planes feature the typical intra-Europe product, meaning that business class is simply economy with a blocked middle and improved service.
Redeeming miles on Air France’s new Caribbean flights
Now that these flights are on sale, you can also redeem miles for travel on them. Air France-KLM Flying Blue seems to be charging 34,500 Flying Blue miles for one-way business class travel on either of these routes. Flying Blue is transfer partners with all major transferable points currencies, so these miles are pretty easy to come by.
Air France’s Caribbean island hopper flights
While Air France’s new Guadeloupe flights are nonstops, the airline also operates a pretty awesome island hopper flight that I’ve been meaning to take. I don’t really have an excuse, given that the flight even operates out of my home airport. In a flight time of 9hr25min, you could fly from:
- Miami (MIA) to Port-au-Prince (PAP)
- Port-au-Prince (PAP) to Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP)
- Pointe-à-Pitre (PTP) to Fort-de-France (FDF)
- Fort-de-France (FDF) to Cayenne (CAY)
Could you think of a more enjoyable way to spend a day?!?! 😉
That’s also quite a good use of miles, as you can book business class one-way for 29,500 Flying Blue miles.
Starting in 2017, Air France also operated a flight between Atlanta and Pointe-à-Pitre. It appears that this route has been terminated or suspended, though, as I don’t see it in the schedule. Perhaps the plane that was used for that route will now be used for the New York and Montreal routes.
Air France is launching a couple of new routes between Guadeloupe and North America this winter, using Airbus A320 aircraft. While these aren’t the most comfortable planes out there, there’s something I find so cool about being able to fly an Air France A320 between New York and the Caribbean.
I’d argue that the Air France Miami island hopper continues to be the most interesting of the routes, and hopefully I can finally take it in the near future.
Has anyone flown an Air France A320 on one of these Caribbean routes?