Eastern Airways, a UK-based regional carrier, is set to launch three new routes to Paris Orly Airport in partnership with Air France. The new routes from East Midlands, Southampton, and Cardiff will commence in April, offering passengers more travel options and boosting the UK’s regional aviation scene. The expansion is especially significant in the wake of Flybe’s collapse and the rise of non-UK airlines connecting regional destinations. However, the choice of Paris Orly over Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport presents some challenges for passengers seeking international connections.
Details of the New Routes and Schedules
Starting April 14th, Eastern Airways will operate flights from East Midlands and Southampton to Paris Orly. The third route, from Cardiff, will commence on April 21st. All three routes will operate daily, with the following schedules:
- East Midlands-Orly: 06:00-08:45 (daily except Sat); 06:15-09:00 (Sat)
- Orly-East Midlands: 19:15-20:00 (daily except Sat); 19:30-20:15 (Sat)
- Orly-Southampton: 09:30-09:55 (daily except Sat); 09:45-10:10 (Sat)
- Southampton-Orly: 10:35-12:55 (daily except Sat); 10:50-13:10 (Sat)
- Orly-Cardiff: 13:35-14:20 (daily except Sat); 13:50-14:30 (Sat)
- Cardiff-Orly: 15:05-17:50 (daily except Sat); 15:20-18:05 (Sat)
Eastern Airways will use a 70-seat ATR-72 aircraft for these flights, primarily targeting point-to-point passengers. However, the airline is also preparing to codeshare with Air France in the coming weeks.
Eastern Airways and Air France Cooperation
The launch of these UK-France services marks the beginning of a cooperation between Eastern Airways and Air France, which is expected to develop into a codeshare partnership later this year. As part of this collaboration, passengers will be able to book flights on both Eastern Airways’ and Air France’s websites, enjoying seamless onward connections with the Air France network.
Challenges of Paris Orly Airport
While the choice of Paris Orly Airport for the new routes offers the advantage of proximity to many areas of downtown Paris, it presents challenges for passengers seeking international connections. Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport, where Eastern could connect with almost all Air France international services, would be a more convenient choice for those passengers.
Travelling between the two Paris airports can be a chore, and anyone relying on an international Orly-CDG connection will have to allow a long MCT (minimum connecting time).
Impact on UK Regional Aviation
Eastern Airways’ expansion comes at a time when other airlines like KLM and Air France have been successful in connecting various UK regional airports with international destinations. With the collapse of Flybe, Eastern Airways is stepping in to fill the gap and provide essential connections for UK passengers. This expansion may serve as a catalyst for further growth in the UK’s regional aviation sector, with the potential for more routes and connections in the future.
Eastern Airways’ expansion to Paris Orly and its partnership with Air France presents new travel options for passengers flying from regional airports in the UK. This move will have