Air France celebrates 65 years of flights to Japan



In November 1952, Air France inaugurated its Paris – Tokyo route. 65 years later, the company now operates 22 weekly flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to two Japanese cities, Osaka and Tokyo (Haneda and Narita), offering more than 7,100 seats. Customers benefit from the latest travel cabins and the best products and services offered by Air France before, during and after their flight.

For the summer 2018 season, Air France will enhance its flight schedule and will offer 26 weekly flights between Europe and Japan with 7, 12 and 7 weekly flights respectively to Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda and Osaka.

65 years of Paris to Tokyo

Paris to Tokyo: 10,000 km as the crow flies. This remained unimaginable for Air France for a long time. After the war, a regular Paris-Tokyo service – often spelt “Tokio” in some countries until the 1950s – was possible. The service was launched on 24 November 1952 by Lockheed Constellation, a more powerful aircraft. It still required three stopovers (Beirut, Karachi and Saigon) – and 51 hours of flight!

The service was operated by L749, one then twice a week. It was known as the “Champs Elysées” route. On board, the 34 passengers enjoyed a luxury service, with sleeper seats and champagne with their meals. In 1958, the Superstarliner took the “Polar Route” via Anchorage, which was 3,000 km shorter. The flight time was reduced to thirty hours. With the arrival of the jet era, it was shortened even further: 19 hours by Boeing 707 and 12 hours in 1986 with the launch of the non-stop “rising sun” route.

In 2017, Air France operates up to three daily non-stop flights to Tokyo by Boeing 777, with an estimated flight time of 11 hours and 50 minutes!


Flight schedules (in local time) to Japan during the 2017-18 winter season:


AF276: leaves Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 13:35, arrives at Tokyo-Narita at 9:25 the following day
AF275: leaves Tokyo-Narita at 11:05, arrives at Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 15:55
Flight operated daily


AF272: leaves Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 16:05, arrives at Tokyo-Haneda at 12:05 the following day
Flight operated on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
AF274: leaves Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 23:20, arrives at Tokyo-Haneda at 19:25 the following day
Flight operated daily
AF279: leaves Tokyo-Haneda at 13:45, arrives at Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 18:35
Flight operated on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays
AF293: leaves Tokyo-Haneda at 23:50, arrives at Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 4:45 the following day
Flight operated daily


AF292: leaves Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 14:00, arrives at Osaka at 10:00 the following day
Flight operated on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
AF291: leaves Osaka at 11:45, arrives at Paris-Charles de Gaulle at 16:35
Flight operated on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays

For the summer 2018 season, Air France will enhance its flight schedule and will offer 26 weekly flights between Europe and Japan with 7, 12 and 7 weekly flights respectively to Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda and Osaka.

A strengthened network

In recent decades, Air France has also strengthened its alliances to increase the power of its network between Europe and Japan.

Thanks to its partnership with Korean Air, a member of the SkyTeam Alliance, Air France-KLM is offering additional connecting opportunities to Europe via Seoul from Fukuoka, Nagoya, Niigata, Okayama, Osaka, Sapporo and Tokyo-Narita.

With Japan Airlines, customers also benefit from code-share flights to 12 Japanese destinations on departure from Tokyo and Osaka: Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kagoshima, Komatsu, Kumamoto, Matsuyama, Miyazaki, Nagasaki, Nagoya, Okayama, Okinawa and Sapporo.

Made-to-measure products and services to Japan

Since 1952, Air France has been offering its Japanese customers tailor-made services.

At Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, Air France Japanese-speaking staff are available to assist customers with their departure, arrival and transit formalities.

On board, the Air France flight attendants are trained to take the cultural specifics of its Japanese customers into account. Over 160 Japanese nationality flight attendants offer an exclusive service on board flights to and from Japan.

The entertainment offer is also adapted to customers travelling on the Japanese network with over 1,000 hours of on-demand entertainment including numerous films available in their original version or with subtitles. A selection of Japanese press is also available on the Air France Play app.

Personalized fine dining for Japanese customers

During the flight, Air France takes great care to adapt to the culture and habits of its Japanese customers and offers a range of Japanese dishes aboard all its cabins.

On outbound and inbound flights, Air France La Première and Business customers can order at no extra charge a typical Japanese menu created by Japanese chefs and served in tableware designed by the famous company Narumi. Customers can book this full meal between 90 days and 24 hours before flight departure.

Finally, to provide passengers with a new culinary experience, table service is also available for Business customers flying to/from Tokyo-Haneda1 and Tokyo-Narita2 from Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Like a gourmet restaurant, every Business customer can order their hot dish from Air France cabin crew, served on a plate by specially trained crew members who know how to showcase the dishes. These dishes, worthy of great restaurants, are directly presented on the tablecloth and presented according to the rules of great table service, with no tray necessary.

For more information on the history of Air France go to

(1) Available on flights AF272/279 and AF274/293.
(2)Available on flight AF276/275.


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