VENTURES AFRICA – The Federal government of Nigeria has approved the Paris-Abuja flight operation of AirFrance as part of a Bilateral Air Services Agreement between Nigeria and France.
According to the airline, the new non-stop route is in addition to the daily flights to Lagos and Port Harcourt and strengthens Air France’s offer of flights to Nigeria, while complementing Air France and KLM’s continuous growth strategy in Africa.
“With this new non-stop route, Air France, KLM and their partners now offer a network of 52 destinations in Africa in summer 2012, from their hubs at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol” it added.
Commenting on the development, Senior Vice President Middle East & Africa at Air France KLM, Pierre Descazeaux expressed his delight at the announcement of the “additional service to Nigeria”. He said, “not only are we launching a third destination in Nigeria, which is always the mark of great confidence in a country’s economy and a first in sub-Saharan Africa… on our flights to Nigeria we are offering the best of our long-haul product with this new Business class seat”
The French flag carrier’s three routes to Nigeria are operated by Airbus A330-200 equipped with three cabin classes. With a total capacity of 208 seats, the Airbus A330-200 has 40 seats in Business, 21 in Premium Voyageur and 147 in Voyageur/Economy, equipped with the new “full sleep” Business class seat, which is longer, wider and more spacious.
Preferred by over 90 percent of Air France customers, and contributes to reducing Carbon Dioxide emissions and is more environmentally-friendly.
The positive development comes on the heels of the recent Lagos air disaster which claimed over 150 lives. However, pursuant to the agreement, AirFrance has launched daily operations between Abuja and Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport in France.
According to Businessday, Flight AF 514 leaves Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 10:40am and arrives in Abuja at 3:35pm before continuing on to Port Harcourt, while Flight AF 513, from Port Harcourt, leaves Abuja at 11:15pm and arrives the following morning at Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 6:10am, offering excellent connecting opportunities to the 230 destinations on the Air France and KLM network.
Air France is France’s national flag carrier, and one of the world’s largest airlines. It is a subsidiary of the Air France-KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance.