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Good news, Canada! As part of the Canadian expansion, Air France has announced direct flight service between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier (YOW). The new route will be inaugurated on June 27, 2023. In addition to the new route announcement, Air France has also shared that it would resume the Paris-Charles de Gaulle – Quebec City non-stop service starting May 2, 2023, and increase frequencies to existing routes to Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
New route announcement – Paris and Ottawa
The non-stop service between Paris and Ottawa will run five times weekly (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday), on Airbus A330-200 with three service cabins (36 in Business, 21 in Premium Economy, and 167 in Economy). Flight schedules are as follows;
- AF364: Departs CDG at 13:10, arrives YOW at 15:05
- AF361: Departs YOW at 17:05, arrives CDG the following day at 06:15
Starting June 27, 2023, Air France will be the only airline operating non-stop flights between Ottawa and Europe, since Air Canada flights to London (LHR), and Frankfurt (FRA) fell casualty to the pandemic, and have not returned since.
Air France will continue to operate the popular shuttle service (twice daily) between Montreal-Trudeau Airport (YUL) and Ottawa Rail Station (XDS). For many years, this shuttle service out of Ottawa was an important feeder to direct Air France flights to Europe. With YOW getting its own direct service, the route will continue to facilitate a reciprocal feeder system between the two cities. The bus timings will align with Air France flights to and from CDG.
Other route announcements
Air France will also resume Paris-Charles de Gaulle – Quebec City non-stop service starting May 2, 2023. This route will operate 3x weekly on Boeing 787-9. The flight schedules are as follows;
- AF352: Departs CDG at 20:45, arrives in YQB at 21:55
- AF353: Departs YQB at 23:55, arrives at CDG at 12:20
AF will also boost the existing non-stop flight service to Canada, with three daily flights to/from Montreal (YUL), two daily flights to/from Toronto (YYZ), and a daily flight to/from Vancouver (YVR) as well.
These announcements will make Air France the top European airline to connect Canada with Europe, and beyond. As a resident of Ottawa, it brings me great joy to see a direct route to Europe, and no doubt it will be very popular. I would love to see the shuttle service between YUL and Ottawa Rail Station (XDS) be moved to YOW, for seamless connectivity of passengers. As things stand, XDS is a good 20 minute drive away from YOW.
Air France/KLM Flying Blue loyalty program gets a stronger foothold in Canada. We can all look forward to two more Canadian gateways in the future iterations of Promo Rewards which offer upto 50% discount on short/long-haul redemptions on Air France and KLM flights.
Title Image: Air France