The airBaltic club loyalty program now reaches almost everywhere in the world. Thanks to a new partnership with Air France and KLM, members can both earn and redeem points for travels with the two larger airlines. Though, like with most such deals, there are some notable limitations.
Virgin Atlantic will join the SKyTeam alliance in early 2023, boosting the group’s presence in the UK. Virgin Atlantic will become SkyTeam’s first and only UK member airline, offering long-haul flights from Heathrow, Manchester and Edinburgh.
KLM formally introduced its Premium Comfort cabin this week, bringing a premium economy option to its long-haul fleet. The new seats, designed in partnership with Collins Aerospace, will be available for travel starting in July 2022 and eventually rolling out across the 777 and 787 fleets.
Air France plans to retrofit a dozen 777-300ER aircraft, including a new business class seat with privacy doors. The cabin retrofit is part of the carriers efforts to “move upmarket” and “offer its customers the best of France and take elegance to new heights.”
Chalk up another 100 aircraft order for Airbus (plus 60 options). Air France-KLM announced a firm order to refresh the KLM, Transavia, and Transavia France fleets with A320neo family aircraft.
The first Air France A220 arrived at the airline’s home base in Paris this week, offering an opportunity for the carrier to show off its new short/mid-haul flagship.
Air France plans a pair of new Caribbean routes this winter, but perhaps a bit outside the normal range of operations. The carrier will connect Montreal and New York City with its mini-hub at Guadeloupe.
Air France selected the 2Ku solution from Intelsat to fit its A220 fleet, adding a bit of variation to the carrier’s connectivity configurations.
Short flights are no more in France. A new climate-focused bill is on the path to becoming finalized, and among the new policies is a prohibition on air service for domestic routes that can be served by train in less than 2.5 hours.
The French government likely just spent the most money ever on airport landing slots. A €4 billion deal to recapitalize the Air France-KLM group will see a token divestment of operating slots at Paris-Orly airport, assuming a competitor is keen.