Air France and Azores Airlines have inked a codeshare agreement. The new codeshare will provide passengers with connecting opportunities between the Portuguese Azores islands and Paris Charles de Gaulle via Porto and Lisbon.
Air France and Azores Airlines connect Paris to the North Atlantic Ocean
Air France and the Portuguese carrier Azores Airlines have reached a new codeshare agreement. Effective as of the 28th of January, passengers between Paris and the Azores islands will have new connecting opportunities with only a short layover on mainland Portugal.
The codeshare will include over 70 weekly flights from Lisbon and Porto to five destinations on the Azores — Ponta Delgada, Terceira, Santa Maria, Horta and Pico. On the other stretch, it includes more than 60 flights a week between Porto/Lisbon and Paris CDG. The flights will be operated on the Airbus 320 family, and are already bookable.
Connecting Azoreans to Paris and beyond
Beyond a simplified booking and travel process, it will also allow passengers to check-in luggage to their final destination. They will also enjoy the same benefits for baggage allowance and points in frequent flyer programs. Furthermore, it will provide access to lounges in Portugal for eligible Air France passengers.
Boris Darceaux, director-general of Air France-KLM for the Iberian peninsula, commented on the new agreement, saying,
“We are very proud of this announcement, especially given our continued growth and consolidation in the Portuguese market in recent years. With this new codeshare agreement with SATA Azores Airlines, we will be able to offer Azorean customers quick access to our hub in Paris Charles de Gaulle and beyond, to our global network.”
Opening the Azores to the world
The Azores, an autonomous archipelago region in Portugal, lies 1,500 km and less than a three-hour flight from Lisbon in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is made up of nine islands that sit on the border of the European, American and African tectonic plates.
They are characterized by volcanic hot springs, grottos and blue crater lakes surrounded by green meadows, forests, and beaches. Lonely Planet has dubbed it one of Europe’s last great island adventures and some of the main activities include whale-watching, mountain biking and visits to banana, coffee and guava plantations.
In spite of their bounty and allure, the islands remained largely off the radar even for seasoned travelers for a very long time. The airspace over the Azores was not liberated until 2015, when low-cost airlines EasyJet and RyanAir began operating routes.
In that year alone, the number of passengers arriving at the islands’ airports increased by 21.2%. Tourist numbers in the Azores have doubled over the past four years. With more people seeking to escape from the hubbub of city life, it is no wonder Air France wants to get in on the action for Europe’s last wilderness.
Azores Airlines is a subsidiary of SATA Air Açores, founded in 1941 and based in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel island. It has its hub at João Paulo II International Airport. It has close to 25 destinations in seven countries in Africa, Europe and North America. The airline offers flights to the US East Coast with the Airbus A320neo aircraft, but will soon replace them with the A321LR, having leased its first in July 2019.