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Air France Plans To Cut All Flights From Paris Orly by 2026
Budget subsidiary Transavia to become Air France Group's reference operator at Orly.
In a move consistent with the direction taken by French lawmakers wanting to cut carbon emissions by 40% by the end of this decade, flag carrier Air France has announced it is planning to terminate almost all services from Paris-Orly (ORY) airport, relocating all routes to its main hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG).
By Summer 2026, eleven of the 14 routes currently operated by Air France from Orly will be terminated, with the possible exception of the three services operated to Bastia (BIA), Calvi (CLY), and Figari (FSC), which are currently operated under a Public Service Order (PSO). These three airports are located in the island of Corsica and the connection to Paris is considered vital to local communities. Air France has renewed its bid for the essential service for 2024 together with Air Corsica and has confirmed it would maintain its commitment to these routes should the bid be successful.
All other Air France services from Orly will be taken over by Air France’s low-cost counterpart Transavia that will operate a fleet of Airbus A320neo aircraft that “offer a 15% reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions, as well as a 50% reduction of the noise footprint,” Air France said in a press release.
Competition from high-speed trains
The French flag carriers currently operates three domestic routes to mainline France: Marseille (MRS), Nice (NCE) and Toulouse (TLS). These routes are under intense competition from high-speed trains (TGV, Train à Grande Vitesse) operated by state-owned SNCF. These trains can operate at up to 200 mph (320 km/h) and have caused a 40% reduction of passengers on those routes from Orly, which increases to 60% if only day-return trips are considered.
Air France does not operate an extensive network from Orly, therefore those services cater almost exclusively to point-to-point traffic that is attracted by travel times by train that, on a door-to-door basis, can be competitive with air transport. In 2021 the French Government approved a law aimed at eliminating all point-to-point domestic services that could be replaced by a train trip shorter than two and a half hours, but traveling by train from Paris to Marseille requires more than three hours, while Toulouse and Nice are more than four hours away.
Other short-haul services from Orly see connections to main cities in Northern Africa (Algiers, Algeria; Tunis, Tunisia; Casablanca, Morocco) operated by a mix of Airbus A319 and A320 aircraft. Air France also operates some long-haul services to the French overseas territories (DROM-COM, Départements et Régions d’Outre-Mer et Collectivités d’Outre-Mer) of Guadeloupe and Saint Martin in the Caribbean Sea, to French Guyana in South America, as well as to the Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean.
All these long-haul services, currently operated by a fleet of specially configured high-density Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, have been operated from both Orly and Charles de Gaulle since 2020, and therefore will not be deprived of the vital link with Paris.
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