De Gaulle manoeuvres step up French battle

De Gaulle manoeuvres step up French battle

tions and services at the French capital's airport, which is one of the only major European airports capable of such growth.

A fourth runway is also planned to come on line when the new terminal opens.

Commercial director UK and Ireland Thierry de Bailleul said Air France was talking to Paris Charles de Gaulle owner Aeroports de Paris about what facilities it could have in the future. He said: "We will be able to expand, unlike British Airways, Lufthansa and KLM which are in constrained hubs. Our airport is not congested."

The plan to move flights to a better terminal comes just after the airline completed a switch to the latest Charles de Gaulle facility.

Air France has operated its UK flights into the new 2F Terminal since May 6. This has given passengers greater lounge access, quicker connections to long-haul flights and more facilities.

Half of Air France's UK passengers connect to long-haul and other European flights at Charles de Gaulle.

"The hub system is working well and the new terminal has proved to be a good selling point," said de Bailleul.

The use of 2F has also enabled Air France to improve its UK schedule for this summer as it can accommodate more flights. This has also been possible due to the opening of a third runway at Charles de Gaulle.

New services to Paris have been launched from Teesside and Humberside, and extra flights scheduled from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham.

Timings from Heathrow and London City have also been improved to give better connections. De Bailleul said these enhancements were part of a development programme to include extra capacity on key UK routes.

Air France handles 25m passengers a year at Charles de Gaulle, but the 2F facility gives it the capacity for 28m. E Terminal will allow the carrier to handle 33m.

De Bailleul says Air France's franchise agreements with Jersey European Airways and Gill Airways could also be improved.

JEA currently co-operates on services to Paris from Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and to Lyons and Toulouse from Heathrow.

Gill flies on behalf of the French carrier to Paris from Newcastle, Teesside and Humberside.

"We can do more to increase our network, especially with Gill and JEA," said de Bailleul.

Air France is considering launching services from Belfast and Bristol. It would have to use the services of a franchise airline as the cost would be too much for a mainline Air France service.

In an effort to keep loads high on its improved UK network, the carrier has cut 30% off ticket prices for European destinations. Air France is also offering passengers booking three return trips in its L'Espace Europe business class and Tempo Challenge full economy cabin a free break to Disneyland Paris. The offer is valid until the end of next month.

AIRFrance is planning to improve its service to the UK in the next few years with a move to a new dedicated terminal at its Paris Charles de Gaulle hub.

The airline will be moving a lot of its flights to the new state-of-the-art E Terminal within the next three years.

The move will lead to an overall improvement in connections and services at the French capital's airport, which is one of the only major European airports capable of such growth.

A fourth runway is also planned to come on line when the new terminal opens.

Commercial director UK and Ireland Thierry de Bailleul said Air France was talking to Paris Charles de Gaulle owner Aeroports de Paris about what facilities it could have in the future. He said: "We will be able to expand, unlike British Airways, Lufthansa and KLM which are in constrained hubs. Our airport is not congested."

The plan to move flights to a better terminal comes just after the airline completed a switch to the latest Charles de Gaulle facility.

Air France has operated its UK flights into the new 2F Terminal since May 6. This has given passengers greater lounge access, quicker connections to long-haul flights and more facilities.

Half of Air France's UK passengers connect to long-haul and other European flights at Charles de Gaulle.

"The hub system is working well and the new terminal has proved to be a good selling point," said de Bailleul.

The use of 2F has also enabled Air France to improve its UK schedule for this summer as it can accommodate more flights. This has also been possible due to the opening of a third runway at Charles de Gaulle.

New services to Paris have been launched from Teesside and Humberside, and extra flights scheduled from Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Manchester and Birmingham.

Timings from Heathrow and London City have also been improved to give better connections. De Bailleul said these enhancements were part of a development programme to include extra capacity on key UK routes.

Air France handles 25m passengers a year at Charles de Gaulle, but the 2F facility gives it the capacity for 28m. E Terminal will allow the carrier to handle 33m.

De Bailleul says Air France's franchise agreements with Jersey European Airways and Gill Airways could also be improved.

JEA currently co-operates on services to Paris from Birmingham, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and to Lyons and Toulouse from Heathrow.

Gill flies on behalf of the French carrier to Paris from Newcastle, Teesside and Humberside.

"We can do more to increase our network, especially with Gill and JEA," said de Bailleul.

Air France is considering launching services from Belfast and Bristol. It would have to use the services of a franchise airline as the cost would be too much for a mainline Air France service.

In an effort to keep loads high on its improved UK network, the carrier has cut 30% off ticket prices for European destinations. Air France is also offering passengers booking three return trips in its L'Espace Europe business class and Tempo Challenge full economy cabin a free break to Disneyland Paris. The offer is valid until the end of next month.

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