During the summer season, Air France is expanding its service to Canada by adding Québec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) to its network.
Along with flights to Montreal (YUL), Toronto Pearson (YYZ), and Vancouver (YVR), the airline will add a fourth route from Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Canada, which is the carrier’s second-largest long-haul market by capacity (YVR).
From May 17, the SkyTeam alliance member will fly three round flights per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The Airbus A330-200 will fly to Quebec with 224 seats in a three-class cabin.
Stéphane Poirier, president and CEO of YQB, described the arrival of Air France as “a boon to the socio-economic development of the greater Québec City area.”
“While our industry and operations were severely impacted by the global pandemic, we have continued to work with the region to recover and expand our flight options,” he said. “We pooled our resources and our energies, and now we’re reaping the rewards of this extraordinary collaboration.”
Air France’s proposed Paris-Québec route is the Canadian airport’s second new transatlantic service in the previous three months.
Air Transat announced in October that a once-weekly trip to London Gatwick (LGW) will begin on May 11 and will be operated by Airbus A321neo aircraft. The new flight will complement the airline’s existing YQB-CDG operation.
During the recovery from the epidemic, Québec City mayor Bruno Marchand claimed the city, which hosted Routes Americas 2019, “couldn’t have dreamed for more.”
He added: “The thousands of additional tourists that will visit the capital over the next few years will be a breath of fresh air for our businesses, restaurants, and hotels.
As for our entrepreneurs, for whom France is the main export market, this agreement between Air France and YQB will give rise to a multitude of possibilities.”
Since 1950, Air France has had a presence in Canada. According to OAG Schedules Analyser data, the carrier aims to serve Montreal up to 4X daily, Toronto up to 2X daily, and Vancouver up to 1X daily during the summer of 2022. During the season, overall capacity will be 25% higher than before the pandemic.
After Fort Lauderdale, New York, and Cancun, Paris was the fourth largest foreign O&D market from Québec in 2019.
According to Sabre Market Intelligence, traffic between Québec and Paris totaled 51,408 two-way passengers last year, with one-third of them taking an indirect route.