The new Air France route from Marseille was welcomed to Hamburg with a cake in the French colours. The inaugural flight’s crew was also greeted with flowers in matching colours. This is Air France’s second route to the northern German city after Paris CDG, but a third French airport will soon join as the airline launches flights from the fellow Airbus-city of Toulouse.
- With the start of the summer season, Air France took the opportunity to further expand its presence in Marseille (MRS), bringing the number of destinations served nonstop to 28. The French flag carrier launched a total of four international routes, including three destinations in the EU and one in Morocco, from the Mediterranean airport, which is headed for a record 2012, as reported in our recent analysis. From 25 March, the airline will fly twice-weekly to Barcelona (BCN), thrice-weekly to Marrakech (RAK), while four and five weekly frequencies will be offered respectively to Hamburg (HAM) and Venice (VCE). All four routes will be served with equipment from the A320 family. In addition, the airline’s regional division now offers daily services connecting the south-western French city of Bordeaux (BOD) and Barcelona (BCN); 76 seats per departure are offered on the E170s deployed on the route. Air France will face the Spanish low-cost Vueling in both Barcelona-bound markets, from Bordeaux three times weekly and Marseille with four weekly flights, as well as Royal Air Maroc’s six and Ryanair’s five weekly frequencies on the Marseille to Marrakech routing.