Air France urges East Midlands travellers to help grow services
AIR France is closely watching the impact of its joint operation with Flybe from East Midlands Airport to Paris.
If it proves successful, it could lead to more flights from the region to Paris timed to connect with onward flights.
Business travellers from the East Midlands frequently call for more flights to continental European hubs such as Paris, Brussels, Schiphol and Frankfurt saving on journeys to London Heathrow or provincial airports with better served feeder flights operated, for example, by Lufthansa, KLM and its partner Air France.
Flybe began flights from East Midlands to Paris Charles de Gaulle in Paris in October and they are code shared so that luggage can be transferred to onward flights without re-checking.
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Henri Hourcade, general manager of Air France KLM, UK and Ireland, said Flybe was its codeshare partner from UK airports.
The Flybe flights allowed integration with Air France flights to destinations around the world such as New York.
"It is a seamless service with tickets prices from East Midlands to the world, integrated as if it were an Air France service," said M. Hourcade.
"The departure times from EMA to Paris – 6.50am and 6.20pm – are timed to cover night-time departures to places such as Africa and Asia and the return flights in the morning."
M Hourcade described the numbers travelling on Flybe as "promising".
"I am sure it will develop," he said. The idea was that the number of Flybe flights to Paris would increase with passenger demand and usage.
M Hourcade ruled out that KLM might resume flights from EMA to its Schiphol hub.
"It is not in the plan today. We want to invest in the Paris route and see if we can grow," he said.
He said it was for the corporate market to convince the airline it would use other services such as those out of Schiphol.
Airlines and the CAA share the origination and destination of their passengers which helps determine possible new routes.
Flybe and Air France/KLM fly from 21 UK destinations into Paris.