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Air France adds Paris to Phoenix route
As of May 23, 2024, Air France will launch a new year-round flight between Paris (CDG) and Phoenix (PHX). The flight will operate 3x weekly with the following schedule:
AF68 Paris to Phoenix departing 10:10AM arriving 12:10PM
AF69 Phoenix to Paris departing 2:10PM arriving 9:15AM (+1 day)
The 5,481-mile flight is blocked at 11hr westbound and 10hr5min eastbound. The flight will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in both direction. I should acknowledge that some people won’t like that eastbound schedule, given the very early departure. Personally I don’t mind it, since it’s not that long before my bedtime. 😉
Air France will use a Boeing 787-9 for the service, featuring 276 seats. This includes 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 225 economy class seats.
How this route fits in Air France’s network
Phoenix will be Air France’s 17th destination in the United States, and it’s a pretty cool new addition. Phoenix is of course an airport that’s dominated by American. Currently the airport’s only year-round transatlantic service is on both American and British Airways to London, given that the two airlines have a transatlantic joint venture.
On top of that, German leisure airline Condor operates seasonal flights from there to Frankfurt. Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings Discover was also supposed to add a seasonal Frankfurt to Phoenix route in April 2020, though that was canceled due to the pandemic, and was never pursued again.
So it’s cool to see some transatlantic competition at long last from one of the “big three” transatlantic joint ventures. Air France has a partnership with Delta, KLM, and Virgin Atlantic. Currently none of those airlines have transatlantic flights from Phoenix, and Delta doesn’t have that much connectivity from Phoenix.
I imagine that Air France figures there’s enough room for another player, especially with just three weekly flights. I’m curious to see how Air France performs in Arizona. I’m sure the airline will have no issues filling flights in summer, given the amount of seasonal transatlantic demand there is. I think winter will be a bit trickier, though, especially since Air France can’t compete with the frequencies offered by American and British Airways between the United States and Europe.
Admittedly Air France has a huge global network, so this could also be useful for those traveling to Africa, India, and beyond. This is the second 3x weekly service that Air France has added in the past year to a new US market, as the airline also launched a route to Raleigh-Durham as of October 2023. However, that replaced service of joint venture partner Delta.
As of May 2024, Air France will launch a new 3x weekly flight between Paris and Phoenix using a Boeing 787. Phoenix currently only has year-round transatlantic service from American and British Airways, so more competition is great for consumers. Hopefully this route proves a success.
What do you make of Air France adding service to Phoenix?