AIR FRANCE IS FLYING HIGH AS A350 ARRIVES IN TORONTO
Air France has begun using the A350 aircraft on its Toronto-Paris route, a development it says should be welcomed by its customers and Mother Nature alike.
The airline began using a plane company CEO Anne Rigail says provides “greener transport” on the route on Oct. 27 and will do so daily through its winter season.
The carrier is citing a number of benefits that come with the A350, among them more spacious Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins; windows that are 30% larger; a different air pressure system Air France says will provide a more comfortable cabin atmosphere; and lighting adapted to the different flight phases.
The A350 is “one of the most efficient long-haul aircraft,” Rigail told a Monday Toronto gathering. “It allows us to operate cleaner and more efficient aircraft…The A350 is proof that we want to offer our Ontario customers the best of our products and services.”
The airline notes A350 Business class passengers have two-metre-long flatbeds, while Premium Economy offers new Recliner seats that are 48 cm wide and recline to 124 degrees.
Economy seating has reinforced ergonomic seat cushions that have a 118-degree recline and a 79-cm seat pitch.
All passengers have access to over 1,400 hours of entertainment, including movies and music. “Even in Economy, you can have a very good flight,” Rigail said.
Rigail also said Air France is “accelerating its environmental road map,” with the A350 – now chosen for several Air France routes – using 25% less fuel than older planes in a fleet that’s now slated to see half its airraft replaced with new-generation planes, including A350s.
The airline has also decided to eliminate single-use plastics, which Rigail said will lead to a reduction of over 100,000 tonnes of waste products a year.
Rigail said the “very silent” A350 will be appreciated by those near airports.
Air France – which has set a goal of halving its CO2 emissions over the next decade – will plant trees in Ontario in return for Ontario bookings, part of a plan to reduce its CO2 footprint.
Meanwhile, Rigail praised her airline as the “second-most punctual airline from Canada to Europe,” trailing only sister carrier KLM.
Air France’s seat capacity on the Toronto-Paris route has grown 20% over the last three years and Vincent Etchebehere – Canadian general manager for Air France/KLM – said it will add four additional flights during the busy June-August season, leading to two daily Toronto-Paris flights, a first for the carrier.
The airline will also have a weighty Montreal presence in 2020, with weekly flights rising from 21 to 24 in the June-August period. That translates into some days having four flights from Montreal, which Etchebehere labelled “extremely significant.”
That period will see Air France and KLM together have 84 weekly flights from Canada to Paris and Amsterdam.
SANDALS RECOGNIZES TOP TEAM MEMBERS
More than 200 sales team members from Canada, the US, South and Central America, the UK and the Caribbean recently attended the annual Sandals Global Sales Conference at Beaches Turks & Caicos. Hosted by Gary Sadler, senior vice-president of sales, Unique Vacations Inc, the conference featured several notable speakers including the Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman, Sandals Resorts International; Adam Stewart, deputy chairman, Sandals Resorts International; and Gebhard Rainer, CEO, Sandals Resorts International.
Three members of the Unique Vacations Canada team were recognized with individual honours during the highly anticipated awards ceremony: Guy Archambault – Business Development Manager, Montréal, Gatineau and Northern Québec, BDM of the Year, Canada; Donné Nixon – Business Development Manager, Alberta & Northwest Territories, Rookie of The Year, Canada; and Lesiane Royer – inside sales co-ordinator, Outstanding Team Player, Canada (as voted on by her colleagues).
G REVEALS LOCATIONS FOR NEXT CHANGE MAKERS SUMMIT
G Adventures has announced the return of its agent incentive program, Change Makers, and for 2020 selected travel agents will get the chance to experience two destinations – India and Nepal.
The Change Makers challenge incentivizes agents to focus on changing people’s lives through travel and gives them the opportunity to show-case how they give back to their own community via a social good submission category. Agents who successfully earn a place at the Change Makers Summit will see firsthand how their work directly impacts local communities in the destinations G Adventures visits.
Change Makers is live now and runs until Jan. 31. More than 150 makers of change from Canada, the UK & Ireland, continental Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand and South Africa will be brought together at the Change Makers Summit which will include members of G Adventures’ team of global purpose specialists and senior leaders from around the world.
The summit comprises of a week-long trip from April 20-26, where agents will see their impact in action, with highlights including Planeterra projects such as Women on Wheels and the Delhi Youth City Walk in India, and the Sisterhood of Sur-vivors and Panauti Community Homestay projects in Nepal. There will also be destination highlights to help agents build their product knowledge. The trips ends with a full-day, immersive G Adventures experience with guest speakers, and a special party night.
To be eligible, agents automatically receive one entry per “life changed” (traveller booked). They can also enter via the “social good” category, by submitting work they have done that gives back to their local community.
TRANSAT TO OFFER DIRECT MONTREAL-COPENHAGEN SERVICE
Air Transat will offer direct flights between Montreal and Copenhagen, Denmark, next summer.
The new service will operate twice a week from June 16 to Sept. 20. Passengers will fly on the Airbus A321neoLR, a next-generation aircraft recently added to the Air Transat fleet that delivers an improved inflight experience.
“Air Transat is proud to be the only air carrier to offer non-stop service to Copenhagen out of Montreal,” says Annick Guérard, chief operating officer.