Air France’s Intriguing New Guadeloupe Routes

Air France’s Intriguing New Guadeloupe Routes

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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 new Guadeloupe routes

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?!?! 😉

Air France’s Miami island hopper route

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.

Bottom line

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?

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  1. ECR

    For a route that's clearly leisure focused (regarding JFK), these times aren't really conducive to a weekend trip. The return to NYC would only be on Saturday or Wednesdays?

  2. Izz

    Here is the issue why you may be holding off on the Milk Run to CAY.

    1) Other than the Milk Run, the only other flights from CAY are to ORY and domestic within FG.
    2) Yellow Fever vaccination is required. Not sure if you have already.
    3) There does not seem to be any points options in FG.

    1. Nicolas

      Doesn't Azul fly to CAY from BEL? Or has the flight been discontinued?

  3. atc.gp

    AF has two A320 (F-HEPB and F-HEPC) based in Guadeloupe (PTP) to operate its Caribbean regional routes. Service between PTP and ATL was a commercial failure has been terminated after few months. Air France has been operating these routes for decades.

  4. אבי

    This may be good news for economy travelers but for those who fly business what kind of competition does Air France give here?
    European-style business seats are a joke, certainly compared to Air Canada and even more jet blue which have excellent business seats

    1. Regina

      Most jetblue aircraft do not have a business class / mint cabin. Those airplanes fly on very few selected routes. What makes you think they would fly it on that route?

  5. MetsNomad

    I really hope the flight times are a lot better than Norwegian's were. I also wish the flight back to JFK returned on Sunday instead of Saturday. Better for a weekend away.

  6. GSTD

    The island-hopper reminds me of the old TACA "Central America hopper' which operated between Panama and Miami via San Jose, Managua, San Salvador, and Guatemala City in the early 1970's. What better way to spend a day! Unfortunately, airlines don't plan flights for avgeeks anymore.

  7. James Saunders

    Bare in Mind YUL has a special area to link various flights ‘within’ France. The passenger do not enter Canada nor are they in transit
    It allows the link for St Pierre and Migalon to CDG
    Likely this will be the same.

  8. Mike

    Hope that's a quick turnaround in Cayenne. I have not personally been, but I have heard it pretty rough there.

    1. Greg

      Cayenne is a delightful little French outpost in the tropics. I had a wonderful visit in 2012 - I traveled overland the lengths of the Guyanas from Macapá, Brazil to Georgetown, Guyana.

  9. Emmanuel Heitmann-Taillefer

    @Bob yes Norwegian operated flights out of Guadeloupe and Martinique to New-York, Montréal and Boston. I always wondered how on earth AF or KLM did not operate these routes in winter since they probably have some spare planes during this season. Since there are open skies agreement between the EU and US/Canada, all European airlines could operate these routes. I'm sure KLM could find some with their Carabean overseas territories!

    1. RobASFO

      Norwegian also operated nonstop FLL to PTP and FDF using 737 Max aircraft.

  10. Bob

    Anything to avoid Air Canada is good.

  11. Bob

    Wasn't it Norwegian operating those flights some few years ago?

  12. Tomas

    AF's island hopper is so fun! Be sure to sit on right hand side of the plane to have a great view of Port Au Prince + the Haitian mountainous regions.

  13. pstm91

    Will be very curious as to pricing. I'm sure it won't be cheap, and that is when you will really miss Norwegian and their $140 RT fares down there from NY. The competition was great.

  14. Michael Hassall

    A thousand years ago (1973), I worked for the ground service company that handled the AF Island hopper at MIA. Flown daily with a Caravelle. Now, that’s a flight I would have loved to take…

  15. Justin

    I imagine this sub fleet is maintained by DL tech ops in Atlanta?

  16. KlausL

    Hello I believe they fly to/from MIAMI from POINTE A PITRE (AF616/617)

    The plane based there is the F-HEPC

    1. Arthur

      The flight from Mia has existed for many years and we have done it often. The Airbus is not the most comfortable aircraft but at 6 hours to FDF It was ok. Typical AF the meals were better than most. Breakfast and lunch to Fort de France - pré covid.

      AA from Miami is direct and just over 3 hours. Hopefully this option returns but was always more expensive than AF

Featured Comments Load all 22 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

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Greg

Cayenne is a delightful little French outpost in the tropics. I had a wonderful visit in 2012 - I traveled overland the lengths of the Guyanas from Macapá, Brazil to Georgetown, Guyana.

Nicolas

Doesn't Azul fly to CAY from BEL? Or has the flight been discontinued?

ECR

For a route that's clearly leisure focused (regarding JFK), these times aren't really conducive to a weekend trip. The return to NYC would only be on Saturday or Wednesdays?

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