PARIS, Jan 26 (AFP) – Air France said Monday it would launch service from Paris to seven new destinations in Africa, the Middle East and central Asia in a bid to win over business travellers in the energy sector.
From Wednesday, France’s flag carrier will fly to Malabo, the capital of Equitorial Guinea. Service will begin Friday to the coastal port of Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo.
This summer, Air France will open routes to Kuwait, Kish island off Iran’s southern coast, the Qatari capital Doha, the Uzbek capital Tashkent and Atyrau in oil-rich Kazakhstan.
The airline said the destinations had been chosen due to their proximity to oil production sites or due to a need for better transportation in the region.
“We are positioning ourselves in places with low passenger flow with a product specially devoted to professionals, including places that are extremely difficult to reach,” said Air France deputy marketing director Bruno Matheu.
“Air France’s biggest client is Total,” Matheu said, referring to the French energy group. He also cited French telecommunications and construction group Bouygues as one of the airline’s future clients for the new destinations.
The airline is studying possibilities of opening routes to the Algerian oil hub of Hassi Messaoud.
Air France will use Airbus A319s on the new routes, equipped with 82 seats – 28 in business class and 54 in coach class.
Subject: France news