Eastern Airways secures rare slots at Paris Charles de Gaulle

Eastern Airways is has secured rare slots at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to enable two UK regional links to switch from Paris Orly.

The move will enable the airline to connect to Europe’s third busiest airport from both East Midlands and Southampton with services operated in partnership with Air France.

But a Cardiff-Paris Orly service will cease “in the short-term” as only two take off and landing slot were freed for Eastern at Charles de Gaulle.   

The swap of the year-round services which started in April 2023 comes ahead of the summer 2024 Olympics & Paralympics in the French capital.

The switch to the country’s biggest airport hub brings “significant growth” in Air France connections available while still maintaining the direct access to the city and links to Disneyland Paris.

The new Paris Charles De Gaulle services will be operated by 72-seat ATR turboprops with one-way fares starting at £89.99.

Air France will sell seats via an interline agreement offering expanded worldwide connectivity on the Air France-KLM Group network. 

The French carrier is moving all services from Orly to Charles De Gaulle, however, with currently only two slots freed the existing Cardiff-Orly service will cease in the short-term, according to Eastern.

The airline’s commercial director Roger Hage said: “We are delighted to be extending this co-operation with Air France and opening wider connectivity to Europe’s second biggest city for both business and leisure travellers. 

“The first year has seen strong demand and notable growth throughout, which given the significance of Paris and France hosting the 2024 Olympics & Paralympics, the welcome move to Charles De Gaulle will help improve direct access year-round to France including Disneyland Paris.”

East Midlands airport mangling director Steve Griffiths said: “Ongoing connectivity via a major European hub has been a strategic aim of this airport for some time. 

“I’m therefore delighted that this partnership with Eastern Airways and Air France opens up global destinations within one stop for our customers.

“While most of our customers will continue to choose us to effortlessly reach their favourite European holiday destinations, we hope they and new customers will be attracted by this new option to use East Midlands airport as the starting point for travel to destinations much further afield.” 

Southampton airport head of airline relations and marketing Christopher Tibbett said: “This is a fantastic route announcement from Air France and Eastern Airways offering a great addition to our summer schedule at Southampton in 2024, building on partner airline KLM’s flights to Amsterdam. 

“The service to Charles De Gaulle will deliver quick and convenient connectivity to one of Europe’s greatest destinations, will be very popular with our passengers from Southampton and the wider Hampshire region.” 

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