Air France has inaugurated transatlantic operations between the United States and Europe with Airbus’ 21st century flagship A380, flying the prestigious New York-Paris route.
The service, which began operating last week, connects John F. Kennedy International Airport with Air France’s Charles de Gaulle hub facility. In the three-class cabin configuration selected by the global carrier, the A380 accommodates 538 passengers.
The A380 is particularly well-suited to Air France’s network, offering the capacity of both a Boeing 777-200 and an Airbus A340 combined, but with a 20 per cent reduction in operating costs. As the most eco-friendly aircraft in its category, the A380 is also in line with the carrier’s commitment to the environment.
Three of Air France’s 12 A380s on order will be received by the spring of next year. In February 2010, the airline will become the first to operate Airbus’ next-generation, double-decker jetliner to the African continent, on the Paris-Johannesburg route.
Air France is now the fourth operator of the A380 – joining Singapore Airlines, Dubai-based Emirates and Australia’s Qantas. The airline became the first European carrier to receive the 21st century Airbus flagship on October 30.
A380s in service have carried some three million passengers, performed more than 8,600 revenue flights and accumulated over 82,000 revenue flight hours to date.