Air France has rostered on a new Boeing 787 to serve between Paris and Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, which will begin operation at the end of October.
What are the details?
The new route will link Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport and Taipei’s Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The service will have the following schedule:
Paris Outbound – Depart Paris at 1900 & arrival at Taipei next day at 1445, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Paris Inbound – Depart Taipei at 0045 & arrival at Paris same day at 0750, every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
Looking at the times above, it is apparent that the 787 will sit around all afternoon in Taipei and all day in Paris.
Currently, the service (which only restarted in 2018 after a 20-year absence) flies three times a week with a Boeing 777-300ER. This flight currently operates during the day, unlike the new schedule, which has been designed to give passengers more time to relax in Paris.
According to Business Traveller, who quoted Air France, the revised scheduling will allow passengers to “enjoy extra day time to explore the city or plan a more flexible business schedule”.
Fellow Dutch partner airline KLM operates a Boeing 777-300ER daily to Taipei and has long been the sole operator of the route.
What is Air France 787 like onboard?
What is rather exciting is the upgrade for passengers onboard the 787 when compared to the older 777-300ER that currently operates the route. Airfrance only has nine 787-9s, and 43 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft (of which they were the launch customer for Europe).
For one, now lie-flat seats won’t be only in the realm of the first-class cabin. Previously Air France operated business on the 777-300ER in a 2-3-2 configuration with that awkward middle seat all the way for the flight.
But looking at the seat map of the 787-9, we can see that they have swapped out the first class for business only in a 1-2-1 herringbone configuration with direct aisle access. This is a massive plus and will allow the aircraft to work much better as a night flight for those traveling in the front end.
In addition to these upgrades, passengers will experience the full suite of benefits that come with a newer aircraft, such as better cabin pressurization, LED mood lighting to help combat jetlag and larger cabin space.
But it is not all good news; gone are the duo-seats at the back of the plane that allowed economy passengers a little bit of privacy to travel together. They will need to now upgrade to business or premium economy for that privilege.
Plus, for Air France, there is a loss of about 27 seats (276 passengers on the 787 vs 303 on the 777-300ER), which by any stretch isn’t a lot, but still enough to feel if these flights are full in both directions.
What do you think? Is this a good swap? Let us know in the comments.