Eastern Airways is launching three new services between the UK and Paris, while forming a partnership with Air France to open up global routes.
The Humberside-based regional airline will fly daily from East Midlands, Cardiff and Southampton to Paris Orly, starting from next month. A ticketing arrangement is to be developed with the national flag carrier in the coming weeks, providing onward connections.
The launch will see 25 crew and engineering roles created at East Midlands, with a low emission 72-seat ATR aircraft to be based there, a first for Eastern. It will complement the Newquay service which launches next week, and is seen as a catalyst to further new routes from there.
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Roger Hage, commercial director at Eastern Airways, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this cooperation with Air France and opening up connectivity to Europe’s second biggest city for both business and leisure travellers and restoring direct access year-round to France.
“These first three new UK-France services will initiate the new Eastern Airways and Air France cooperation, developing into a codeshare partnership in the course of this year. “Each ensures a sustainable capacity development whereby not only direct access to Paris is offered, but onward connections to a myriad of destinations allowing business users much improved options but also an exciting and ever popular leisure offer including Disneyland Paris celebrating its 30th anniversary this year to add to the Parisian charm the city is famous for.”
Roger Hage, Eastern Airways’ commercial director. (Image: Eastern Airways) East Midlands and Southampton will start daily services on Friday, April 14, with Cardiff a week later.
Fahmi Mahjoub, general manager for UK and Ireland at Air France, part of the KLM Group, said “This new co-operation between Air France and Eastern Airways is a very positive move and comes in response to the growing appetite for travel to Paris that we have noticed from all over the UK. Residents near Cardiff, Southampton and East Midlands, will now be able to fly from their local airport and reach the magnificent capital of France with a direct service, an option that was not available to them before. We look forward to the success of this operation and to enhancing further the cooperation with Eastern Airways in the near future.”
Africa, the Caribbean and South America are all opened up from the regions with a single transfer. Both Eastern and Air France will sell tickets, with fares starting from £69.99.
Airport bosses have welcomed the routes.
An Eastern Airways ATR72-600, set to serve the routes to the French capital. (Image: Brad Simpson) Steve Griffiths, managing director at East Midlands Airport, said: “Today’s news is a very significant development for East Midlands Airport and the region we serve. This partnership with Eastern Airways and Air France opens up the world to our passengers bringing global destinations within one-stop of EMA. Ongoing connectivity via a major European hub has been a strategic aim of this airport for some time and I’m thrilled that this opportunity has arisen. While the majority of our passengers who use EMA do so to easily reach their favourite European holiday destinations, this latest development now means that EMA is the starting point for travel to destinations much further afield.”
Marc Watkins, aviation development manager for Cardiff Airport, said: “It’s fantastic to welcome back another flag carrier to Cardiff Airport post pandemic and offer people living in Wales another capital city connection which is not only an awe-inspiring destination in itself but also a gateway to onward connections.
“Paris-Orly also provides an easy access route to Disneyland Paris, with shuttle buses from the airport to the parks and hotels.”
Christopher Tibbett, group head of airline relations and marketing for Southampton Airport, said: “This is a fantastic route announcement from Air France and Eastern Airways offering a great addition to our summer schedule at Southampton in 2023, building on partner airline KLM’s double-daily flights to Amsterdam.
“I’m sure a daily service to Orly, which 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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