Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, despite a sharp fall in activity and successive border closures, Air France has continued to operate a few flights. With capacity currently representing less than 5% of its usual operations, the airline is maintaining a minimum flight schedule justified by the latest customer repatriations and the need to maintain links with the French Overseas Departments and Territories.
Among the destinations served are 3 in mainland France (Toulouse, Marseille and Nice), some fifteen European cities and some twenty countries around the world. To date, more than 270,000 people, including 155,000 French nationals, have been repatriated.
These services make essential journeys possible, whether for medical or family reasons. They also allow the transport of cargo, such as medical equipment or food. Air France’s Cargo activity is playing an essential part in the airlift between France and China, in particular by operating B777 aircraft usually reserved for passenger transport. Thanks to these cabin conversions, the airline has increased its cargo capacity by 50%, enabling millions of masks, medical equipment and other goods to be flown to France.
Amel Hammouda, EVP Transformation & Network, said “We are continuing to adapt our network in real time to comply with international authorisations, but our role has always been and remains today more than ever the link between nations and people. We strive on a daily basis to make essential travel possible, while of course respecting our flight safety requirements and environmental responsibility”.
Pending the precise terms of the relaxed lockdown measures by the French government, Air France is preparing to resume its operations, starting with an increase in capacity on domestic flights. The flight schedule will then be gradually enhanced for the 2020 summer season. However, business will remain highly dependent on the opening of borders and customer bookings.
In this context, Air France teams remain mobilized to welcome all customers on board its aircraft as soon as possible and in complete safety.