Air France will resume daily flights to Beijing and Shanghai in July as it rebuilds its network of flights to China from France to pre-pandemic levels.
The SkyTeam alliance member said it would gradually increase services over the coming months in response to the Chinese government’s decision to significantly relax travel restrictions, including removing a requirement to quarantine on arrival. There will also be additional frequencies in Hong Kong.
The service from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Beijing Capital (PEK) is currently once a week, while Shanghai Pudong (PVG) is operated bi-weekly. Flights to Hong Kong (HKG) resumed on January 9th and are presently 3X weekly.
Air France will expand its frequencies in Shanghai to 3X per week from February 3, with further growth expected. Between now and July 1, the airline expects flights to Beijing, Hong Kong, and Shanghai to be operational every day.
The route to Shanghai will use 369-seat Boeing 777-300ERs, while Beijing and Hong Kong will use 279-seat 787-9s.
Air France has been operating in China since 1966 and operated flights into and out of the country up to 32 times a week prior to the pandemic. In addition to servicing Beijing and Shanghai, the airline also operated a Wuhan (WUH) line.
Since China eased travel rules for inbound travelers on Jan. 8, as well as dropped flight restrictions, nonstop scheduled capacity between the mainland and Europe has risen by about 15% to 47,000 two-way weekly seats, OAG data shows. Between now and the beginning of the summer season by the end of March, the number is expected to double to nearly 100,000 spots in both directions per week.
Air France’s network changes were announced as the Air France-KLM Group confirmed an order for three Airbus A350-900 passenger aircraft for Air France, as well as four A350F full freighter aircraft for Martinair.
The three A350-900s will replace the previous generation of aircraft and bring the total number of the type expected by Air France 41. Deliveries are scheduled for 2024.