Air France has further postponed its planned A380 service resumption on the Paris CDG-Tokyo Narita sector (Airline Route, 19-Apr-2011). Prior to the latest changes, Air France had planned to resume the A380 service from 16-May-2011. However, this is now further postponed until 06-Sep-2011. Service operates with three-class B777-200ER instead. A380 aircraft originally assigned on this route are now shifted to San Francisco.
Air France postpones A380 service resumption to Japan
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China and France expand flights for airlines, giving China aeropolitical negotiating leverage
China and France have agreed to a significant expansion of flights between their countries. Chinese airlines, which have no more than 50 weekly flights to France, will be permitted to grow to 126 weekly flights within a few years. This tranche of rights will likely double the number of Chinese airlines in France (currently four) and take Chinese airlines to serving French cities other than Paris.
Air France will likely grow partnerships with SkyTeam's China members, although Air France will need to make concessions on its existing China JVs. It is unclear whether Air France will revisit considerations of investing in China Southern.
Chinese airlines will become France's second largest source of foreign long haul flights, and in the long term China could surpass the US. For China, France could become its third largest long haul market after the US and Australia. France is China's third major aeropolitical expansion in recent months, after the UK and Australia. This could give China leverage to press the US and Canada to expand traffic rights, although these markets are far more convoluted.
China Airlines deploys A350 to grow in North America but risks overexpansion in Europe
China Airlines has sat out on long haul growth over the last decade and is now looking to reinvigorate its position, making wins against local rival EVA Air, which has quietly but spectacularly grown. EVA, however, now faces uncertainty with new owners that may favour conservative expansion, which could benefit China Airlines. But China Airlines remains in a difficult position, one where it is under too much influence from its government owners, has an undefined vision, and lacks having aircraft on order.
China Airlines has received four A350s, with another 10 due by the end of 2018. China Airlines will have twice as many A350 flights to North America as to Europe – the market it originally envisaged for the A350.
European A350 growth could expand as China Airlines plans to resume London in Jun-2017. China Airlines could also consider a new service to Paris. Europe risks long term overcapacity, however, and this is not a strong market for Taiwan. Growth options are limited to North America, where China Airlines needs longer range aircraft but does not have any more 777-300ERs on order.