Air France's strategic move away from Orly

Old Oct 20, 2023, 8:27 am
  #31  
 
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Personally, I like ORY for its proximity (I am a left banker) and short walks. Going there by taxi has become more painful because the Department of Aeroports de Paris that ensures that things are dysfunctional has done a good job in changing the access roads in such a way as to ensure traffic jams when approaching the terminals. But still, better than getting to CDG. I would like to continue having a decent offering from ORY for „my“ domestic French destinations. If TO starts treating me the same way AF does in terms of making my traveling smoother and more efficient, then count me in. Those changes would then also be rolled out to the other, non-domestic, TO routes which might entice me to also fly them elsewhere.

On easyjet, I had their card for many years but then stopped simply because they don‘t fly where I need to go. But when I had it I never found that it was as good or bad as AF. No fast track in numerous airports, no or louse lounges in many airports, anal with hand luggage, seats as uncomfortable as AF NEO seats but worse than other AF seats, more bus gates, and so on. And that‘s without imagining customer service or IRROPS where U2 or TO do not offer the same as AF Platinum or ULTI lines.

So for domestic French travel my priorities would be
1) Air France from Orly
2) TO from Orly with AF-like benefits for status pax
3) Air France from CDG
4) Easyjet from ORY
5) TO the way it works now

Given that 1) is going away and 2) is not happening yet all the choices are not great…
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Old Oct 20, 2023, 9:23 am
  #32  
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Originally Posted by San Gottardo
On easyjet, I had their card for many years but then stopped simply because they don‘t fly where I need to go. But when I had it I never found that it was as good or bad as AF. No fast track in numerous airports, no or louse lounges in many airports, anal with hand luggage, seats as uncomfortable as AF NEO seats but worse than other AF seats, more bus gates, and so on. And that‘s without imagining customer service or IRROPS where U2 or TO do not offer the same as AF Platinum or ULTI lines.
In my case, I find that U2 often flies where I want to (except in London where they do not use my preferred airports) but I find that their frequencies are often not enough for me. Having said that, they've managed to become dominant on many key business routes, not least from GVA.

Interestingly, apart from the purchasable Easyjet Plus card, U2 has its own frequent flyer programme which is free and by invitation only ("Flight Club"). I am not a member of it and never was (I never flew enough with them for that - I use them regularly but they have never been my main airline) but it's an interesting concept in that it doesn't include any miles, etc but only series of hard and mostly soft benefits. From that point of view, I suspect that if you flew U2 enough to be invited to that, from what I have heard from others, you might find their customer service surprisingly excellent indeed. Not being at that level, I of course do get much better customer service from BA and AF (more BA than AF I have to say), but I should also say that the few times I have needed U2 customer service, I have actually found them very good from my point of view as a non-status person. I've never needed anything hugely complex but they have been quick and responsive and competent which is more than what many non-status pax can say about legacy airlines let alone many low cost ones.

In terms of lounges and fast track, on the routes we are talking about, they actually use the same lounges and fast track as AF at NCE and I presume TLS (in MRS they might be using the low cost terminal which is not great), and quite frankly, any lounge is better than the AF Patio rubbish at ORY, so I wouldn't say they are a worse proposition on that front on those particular routes. At NCE, they certainly don't routinely use bus gates and their on time performance is actually markedly better than AF on average. I also find them a lot more relaxed about hand luggage since most people are no longer allowed hand luggage though they tend to be very "dragon like" in terms of keeping specific overhead bins to specific pax which is a bit funny sometimes. My main issue with them as a non-Easyjet Plus customer is that I find the cost of the upsell from the most basic fare to the one that allowed you a hand luggage and assigned seat has gone up significantly in the last year or so.

On the "pecking order" bit, on a personal basis, as mentioned, I tend to prefer CDG and tend to prefer AF so my current preferred choice is AF from CDG and still is but now, U2 will take the silver and bronze medals for me rather than AF from ORY which would have been my second choice before. I don't like the experiences I have had on HV (whether Dutch or French, I have seen no major difference between the two in service and mercenary attitude) and have no intention on flying on them if I can avoid it. I take your point that the airline could change to become more "elite friendly" but I personally don't believe in that at all though will be happy to reconsider if it happens in the future.

Last edited by orbitmic; Oct 20, 2023 at 9:28 am
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Old Oct 21, 2023, 11:44 am
  #33  
 
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ORY express will be finished in June 2024
This will make ORY even more attractive towards CDG.

CDG PAX arriving from regions will have to face 1h30-2 hours traffic jam in the morning before arriving in the center of Paris.
Ideally AF should postpone the transfer of airport to 2027 so that the timing match with the start of CDG express.
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Old Oct 21, 2023, 2:16 pm
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Bullspread
ORY express will be finished in June 2024
This will make ORY even more attractive towards CDG.

CDG PAX arriving from regions will have to face 1h30-2 hours traffic jam in the morning before arriving in the center of Paris.
Ideally AF should postpone the transfer of airport to 2027 so that the timing match with the start of CDG express.
There's no ORY express. You are certainly talking about mtro line 14, but that's not the same thing as a ORY Express train.
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Old Oct 21, 2023, 3:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Goldorak
There's no ORY express. You are certainly talking about mtro line 14, but that's not the same thing as a ORY Express train.
sorry my bad ; its indeed the automatic metro line number 14 for French experts.

The journey between St Lazare train station and Orly will take just 16mn !
Thats a huuuggge advantage for same day return.
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 8:10 am
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Bullspread

The journey between St Lazare train station and Orly will take just 16mn !
Thats a huuuggge advantage for same day return.
You need to add 14 mns to your travel time (its 16mns from Orly to Olympiades). But even at 30mns it is a huge advantage when going into Paris.
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Old Oct 22, 2023, 8:13 am
  #37  
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Originally Posted by joyu12
You need to add 14 mns to your travel time (its 16mns from Orly to Olympiades). But even at 30mns it is a huge advantage when going into Paris.
Indeed - in fact the main advantage is that the metro station will now be at the airport (on the new link between West and South) as opposed to requiring to take the silly Orlyval to reach the RER station (grr...)
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 1:47 am
  #38  
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I don't know why we all seem to be assuming that ex-navette flights will be replaced by TO flights on the same routes. I might be mistaken but I don't think that AF have said so, have they? They want to transfer the slots to TO but these slots could be used for other routes: slots (other than for PSO routes) are not attached to any particular route. It is possible that TO uses (some of) the slots to develop European routes from ORY.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 2:39 am
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Originally Posted by brunos
Transfer from AF to Transavia will be painful in La Navette airports like NCE.

Of course, there will be industrial action.

AF has a significant clientele using various discount cards (senior, youth,..) with attractive fare conditions. If HV does not keep those, it will lose to U2.

AF and HV products are very different. I understand that AF (to NCE) might not be making much money despite high loads, because of AF cost structure. But replacing by HV is moving into unchartered territory, unless they can keep a lid on ORY slots allocated to U2.

Will AF keep some international flights from NCE (like LHR) or simply disappear from NCE.

The next few years will be difficult.
The easiest way for AF is to add its codes to Transavia's flights (TO not HV) sort of what BA is doing with Vueling (or used to do). With the AF code, they could give dicounts, provide fast track and lounge access to their premium customers.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 3:53 am
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Domestic flights operated at CDG starting from 2026 :

It would be great if AF could have a strategy to ease and smooth the PAX ground experience for domestic flights.

A few ideas to countermove the actual drawback of CDG for domestic flights :

- have a kind of dedicated terminal close the start of CDG2 infrastructures (Terminal 2A or 2C could gain a good 5-10mn compared to 2E-2F). Cons : transit pax from/to terminal F would have to walk a bit but the bulk of transit PAX go to 2E, so it would be iso walking-time for them

- invest in modern security/body + hand luggage scanners to accelerate security controls

- double boarding bridges to allow boarding by the front and the back of the plane

- on the navette flights, AF should avoid to wait for transiting PAX. Most of CDG flight heading to MCE, MRS experience delay because CDG ground staff wait (well) beyond the boarding closing time to allow transit PAX to catch their domestic flight.
Assuming there will be much more daily flight starting from 2026, late PAX could board on later flights (would require new guidance towards the checked luggages)

- assigning the closest runway to limit taxing

Last edited by Bullspread; Oct 23, 2023 at 1:08 pm
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 4:56 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by NickB
I don't know why we all seem to be assuming that ex-navette flights will be replaced by TO flights on the same routes. I might be mistaken but I don't think that AF have said so, have they? .
At any rate, the regional press at least in Nice and Toulouse has explicitly suggested that TO is taking over those specific routes (though no details on frequencies etc of course). It may be that they just (wrongly) assumed it but Im thinking its more likely to be what AF told them.

btw, fun fact: it looks like AF briefed local leaders even before they briefed the press and bizarrely, the recent confirmation (admittedly of a secret de polichinelle) was leaked by Eric Ciotti in a tweet before the press or AF had publicised the news.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 6:38 am
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Originally Posted by Bullspread
It would be great if AF could have a strategy to ease and smooth the PAX ground experience for domestic flights.

A few ideas to countermove the actual drawback of CDG for domestic flights :

- have a kind of dedicated terminal close the start of CDG2 infrastructures (Terminal 2A or 2C could gain a good 5-10mn compared to 2E-2F). Cons : transit pax from/to terminal F would have to walk a bit but the bulk of transit PAX go to 2E, so it would be iso walking-time for them

- invest in modern security/body + hand luggage scanners to accelerate security controls

- double boarding bridges to allow boarding by the front and the back of the plane

- on the navette flights, AF should avoid to wait for transiting PAX. Most of CDG flight heading to MCE, MRS experience delay because CDG ground staff wait (well) beyond the boarding closing time to allow transit PAX to catch their domestic flight.
Assuming there will be much more daily flight starting from 2026, late PAX could board on later flights (would require new guidance towards the checked luggages)

- assigning the closet runway to limit taxing
I agree with the need to have a dedicated area for domestic flights with faster checkin and access to airside areas.

and what people forget is that AF has also some flights to North Africa at ORY at the moment. These will have to also be transferred back to CDG. 2F is a zoo most of the time. Dont know what is gonna happen with the consolidation.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 6:54 am
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TO will be the new Air Inter....
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 6:56 am
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Originally Posted by BA6948
I agree with the need to have a dedicated area for domestic flights with faster checkin and access to airside areas.

and what people forget is that AF has also some flights to North Africa at ORY at the moment. These will have to also be transferred back to CDG. 2F is a zoo most of the time. Dont know what is gonna happen with the consolidation.
ADP is currently working on a project called "Boreal" for both Orly and CDG. This project comes in replacement of the Terminal 4 CDG project (cancelled after COVID for political reasons). Terminal 4 was supposed to become the new Air France main terminal for both Long Haul and Short Haul flights.
In the new project Boreal, ADP is working closely with Air France on the future of CDG. For now, nothing is clear yet, there are lots of ideas but the main key points are :
- Add more capacity in existing terminals by pushing some walls and using terminals to the best of their capacity (2AC and 2E Gate L are mainly targeted)
- Complete the ring around Terminal 1 (satellite junction) : this project isn't confirmed yet because of a high cost and limited value added compared to investments in Air France terminals.
- The creation of a new satellite S5 to the terminal 2, in a shape of a boomerang, on the East side of S4 (Gates M). This new building is the main focus of Boreal but lots of questions are raised : Should the terminal 2G be demolished ? Should a terminal entrance with check in counters be built on the East side of CDG with a CDGVal train to the TGV ? ...
- The creation of a North Terminal (on the current Hotel aircraft stands and SH room). This terminal would be linked to Terminal 2 thanks to a new CDGVal under the taxiways. An access, directly from RER CDG1 station, would also be created.

One thing that is sure, all these main new terminals won't be accessible before 2030 or 2035. Before that, a new main pier in Orly will be created, accessible via a sky bridge (similar to Gatwick) from Orly 3.
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Old Oct 23, 2023, 9:05 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by orbitmic
(though no details on frequencies etc of course)
Yeah, that's the key. I would expect some TO service between NCE/TLS/MRS and ORY but I am not sure that it would necessarily be a service with the same frequency as AF.
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