For the 2002-2003 winter season, Air France`s capacity is at the level scheduled for the winter 2001-2002 season, before the 11 September attacks and the drop in demand forced the airline to reduce its capacity.
Compared with last winter`s actual capacity, growth measured in available seat-km (ASK), increased by 7.5% overall and by 7.7% compared with winter 2000/2001.
The main new features of Air France`s winter schedule which starts on Sunday, 27 October 2002 are as follows:
á the launch of three new destinations: Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, Aberdeen and Bristol in Great Britain
á a new “point to point” Business class product on European flights: Orly-London City and Orly-Bergamo
á capacity adapted to the change in demand on domestic routes, based on a new fare policy and development of services.
With a 8.8% growth in ASK compared with last year`s capacity, the long-haul network boasts 44 more weekly services including 34 on the North American continent.
This level of capacity is 9.2% higher than that of winter 2000-2001 and 2.2% higher than that which was scheduled for winter 2001-2002 before 11 September.
Following the drastic changes applied in 2001 to North American routes, several services have been added this winter: á By reinforcing Delta`s hubs with 4 daily flights to Atlanta including 2 operated by Air France and a twice-daily service to Cincinnati including 1 operated by Air France á By resuming the second weekly flights abandoned last year to several destinations: 12 weekly flights to Boston and Washington, 10 to Miami, 10 to Los Angeles and the 3 AF flights continuing on to Papeete.
In Canada, the second daily flight to Montreal, generally not operated during the winter season, is for the first time scheduled in winter (13 weekly flights).
A code-share agreement has been signed with Air Tahiti Nui. This concerns two weekly services between Paris and Papeete operated by an Air Tahiti Nui A340 which is in addition to Air France`s 3 weekly flights.
There is no change to the flight schedule on South American routes compared with last winter, except the continuation of the fifth weekly flight to Caracas launched this summer.
On routes to Asia, two new destinations will be served daily: Seoul, thanks to the code-share agreement with our partner Korean Air; the Monday and Friday flights will be operated by a Korean Air B747-400. Bombay is also linked to Paris every day thanks to the partnership with Delta which operates 4 weekly services New York-Paris-Bombay on a code-share basis with Air France. There has been a 14th weekly service to Tokyo since the summer thanks to the opening of a second runway at Narita airport. Air France flights to Shanghai have been reinforced (+2) which is now served daily, 5 Air France flights per week and 2 operated by China Eastern. Finally, the fourth non-stop weekly service launched this summer to Manila will continue.
Routes to Africa, which experienced an exceptional increase in capacity in 2001, are adapting to the progressive return of rival airlines by adjusting the number of frequencies and size of aircraft. The arrival of the new A330s will enable Air France to adjust capacity on several routes operated with A340s, following the withdrawal last winter of all A310s.
In Mali, there will be 5 weekly flights to Bamako by A330-200 instead of 7 by B767. There will still be 5 weekly flights to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, but two will make stopovers in Niamey which will thus benefit from an additional frequency.
There are 2 services planned for the winter schedule to Luanda, but it is still uncertain as to whether the second flight will be resumed. It was suspended this summer as the Angolan authorities did not issue traffic rights. MUCH MORE at www.airfrance.com