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An Air France 787-9 begins its takeoff roll at Paine Field. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Katie Bailey)

Air France Announces New Flights to Denver

Amid a slowdown in transatlantic travel, Air France is launching a new service to Denver, increasing its total U.S. destinations for the 2021 summer season to 12. Initially, the French flag carrier plans thrice-weekly services on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Flights are slated to start on July 2, 2021, subject to the lifting of travel bans between France and the United States, allowing non-essential travel. Additionally, the services operate seasonally during the summer, ending on October 29.

On the route, Air France will utilize its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, showcasing 278 seats. This includes 30 business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, 21 premium economy seats in a 2-3-2 configuration and 225 economy seats in a 3-3-3 configuration.

Flight # Origin Destination Departure Time(Local) Arrival Time(Local)
AF631 Paris Denver 1:10 P.M. 3:20 P.M.
AF632 Denver Paris 5:30 P.M. 10:50 A.M.(+1)

“These new flights directly reflect the work we have done to position Denver as a global city,” states Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “With nonstop service to Paris, Air France is supporting our economic recovery with jobs and an investment in our region’s tourism and hospitality industry. It is tremendous news.” The city estimates the new route will generate $12 to 20 million annually for the local Colorado economy, producing 150 new jobs. 

“We know people everywhere are eager to travel safely, and Air France is just as eager to provide them the opportunity to travel the world,” said Stéphane Ormand, Vice President and General Manager, USA for Air France KLM. “We look forward to connecting Denver to our global network and providing passengers the opportunity to benefit from our commitment to exceptional service and the health and safety of everyone on board.”

Pre-pandemic, Denver was one of the top 10 U.S. markets from Paris. Denver is positioned as a gateway to Colorado and the Mountain West, home to many National Parks. Meanwhile, fliers originating in Denver gain access to another option to Europe, with Air France’s hub in Paris.

Denver’s International Service

In the past, services between Paris and Denver were conducted by low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle. The airline started year-round flights in 2018, two times a week, on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Pre-pandemic, Norwegian Air Shuttle saw its Denver service increase at its peak to four times a week, but a reduction to a summer-seasonal service. However, in a recent move to focus on profitability, Norwegian Air Shuttle announced plans to cut its entire long-haul network, leaving a hole for the likes of Air France to fill.

For the summer 2021 season, Air France will face competition from United Airlines and Lufthansa on their flights from the Star Alliance stronghold of Frankfurt. Additionally, Lufthansa will operate a service from its other hub in Munich, Edelweiss Air plans to operate flights to Zurich and British Airways plans to operate flights to London Heathrow. 

Winston Shek
Winston Shek
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