Air France has announced it will be launching new nonstop flights between Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The new winter service will operate year-round effective from October 24, 2017. The airline will deploy a widebody Airbus A330 aircraft to serve the two destinations with 5-times per week service. The aircraft is configured with 40 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats and 147 economy class seats.
The Chicago O’Hare-Paris CDG service was until now being operated by Air France only during the peak spring and summer seasons, and early fall as well. Prior to deciding to operate year-round service, the winter service on Paris-Chicago route was ceded by Air France to its SkyTeam alliance partner Delta Air Lines. However, Air France’s change in plans to operate year-round flights signals that Delta Air Lines is unwilling to serve the route during winters in what is seen as lean period for air travel from Chicago to European destinations.
Apart from Delta Air Lines, even another big U.S. carrier American Airlines, which has for several years operated nonstop flights between Chicago and Paris, doesn’t serve the route during the slowest winter months just after the concluding of Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Air France will now have to compete with Chicago-based United Airlines, which has been conducting year-round flight operations between the two destinations.
Media reports have however said that in recent times the travel on transatlantic routes have shown a downward trend. It may be known that Air France in association with its SkyTeam alliance partners is providing access to its customers to an extensive international network of over 17,000 daily flights services to above 1,060 destinations spanning in 177 countries.