In October, Air France will introduce direct flights to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), making them the 15th airline and the second European carrier to provide commercial flights at the North Carolina airport.
Air France will begin providing a nonstop flight service between Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) and RDU three times a week, starting October 30. The airline will utilize its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to operate the new route.
The aircraft has a maximum capacity of 276 passengers, with three different cabin classes available. These include 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 225 seats in standard economy class.
“We are thrilled to begin operating the direct route from North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham International Airport to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport,” said Eric Caron, general manager for North America at Air France-KLM.
“The route will be Air France’s 14th gateway this winter in the United States, providing even more connectivity and ease of access between the transatlantic market. Whether the final destination is Paris or going beyond through Air France’s wide global network, we look forward to welcoming travelers on board soon.”
Although Air France’s new route to Raleigh-Durham will be their first flight to the destination, there is already a nonstop connection between RDU and Paris. Delta Air Lines operates this route six times per week in the summer and three times per week in the winter. Air France will take over this route as part of their transatlantic partnership with Delta.
It’s worth noting that Delta presently employs a Boeing 767-300ER to run the route. However, Air France’s decision to utilize a Boeing 787-9 for the first time to fly to Raleigh will raise the capacity between the two cities. Additionally, it will provide locals in the Triangle area with more opportunities to access Air France’s vast global network that currently links almost 200 destinations across 89 countries.
“Triangle-area travelers embraced RDU’s nonstop service to Paris when it launched in 2016 and have made it one of their favorite international destinations,” said Michael Landguth, president and CEO of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority. “We welcome the arrival of Air France and the opportunities it provides to connect more travelers from our region with Paris and destinations in Europe, India, and beyond.”
Once the service is launched, Raleigh-Durham will become Air France’s 14th winter destination in the U.S. The other cities it serves are Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Detroit (DTW), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle-Tacoma (SEA), and Washington (IAD), in addition to seasonal summer flights to Denver (DEN) and Minneapolis-St Paul (MSP).
The new flight departing from Paris will leave at 1:30 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and arrive at Raleigh at 5:35 PM. The return flight will depart from RDU at 7:45 PM and arrive in Paris at 8:25 AM the next day.
In addition to Paris, Raleigh-Durham has direct connections to six other international destinations: Cancun (CUN), Freeport (FPO), London (LHR), Montreal (YUL), Reykjavik (KEF), and Toronto (YYZ).