The first Air France flight between Abu Dhabi and Paris arrived in the UAE capital on Monday.
The Airbus A350-900 aircraft took off from Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 9.15pm on Sunday and arrived at Abu Dhabi International Airport at 6.45am on Monday. The return flight will depart from Abu Dhabi daily at 8.45am, arriving in Paris at 1.15pm.
The 324-seater comprises 34 seats in business class, 24 in premium economy and 266 in economy.
The launch of the route linking the two capital cities comes as Air France celebrates its 90th anniversary.
“We are deeply honoured to be here and very confident that our passengers will be excited to explore the culture, heritage and opportunities in both cities,” said Angus Clarke, chief commercial officer of Air France-KLM.
“In the UAE’s Year of Sustainability, it is an opportunity to share the Air France commitment to support Abu Dhabi’s mandate to sustainable tourism and to help achieve the tourism objectives of the emirate,” he added.
Last month, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways and Air France-KLM Group signed a preliminary contract to expand their flight codeshare agreement. The arrangement allows both partners to offer more destinations to their passengers and explore collaboration across loyalty programmes, talent development and maintenance.
The two airlines, who signed codeshare and interline agreements in 2012, said more than 40 new routes covering destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Australia are now available for travel in the winter 2023 season.
In addition to Abu Dhabi, Air France said it will be adding more than 28 weekly flights to Middle Eastern destinations in the winter, including Dubai, Beirut and Cairo.
“France and the UAE have long-held, strong strategic partnerships, and travel and tourism have always played an important part of this valuable exchange of cultures,” said Maureen Bannerman, the chief commercial officer of Abu Dhabi Airports. “We look forward to welcoming the French national carrier to Abu Dhabi International Airport and to revitalising travel experiences between the popular two destinations.”
Updated: October 30, 2023, 3:27 PM