Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis, Air France has been adapting its network and flight schedule in line with travel restrictions and demand. From today 15th June, Air France will gradually resume operations from Birmingham Airport to assist with essential travel and repatriation to and from the Midlands.
Linking Birmingham to Paris, the route will initially be operated twice times a week using an Embraer 190 aircraft. Frequencies will increase weekly with the daily service resuming on 6th July. As the peak summer season approaches, Air France passengers will have the opportunity to connect to up to 150 destinations worldwide via Paris CDG.
Benedicte Duval, General Manager for UK & Ireland said, “As borders reopen and travel restrictions begin to ease, we are fully focused on the safe and gradual resumption of air travel. After this challenging period, we are delighted to be able to welcome our Midlands based customers back on board.
As we all adapt to this new environment, I can assure you that all Air France staff, both on the ground and on board, are committed to guaranteeing our passengers the highest levels of health & safety”
Tom Screen, Aviation Director of Birmingham Airport said: “We are delighted that Air France will resume flights from Birmingham Airport on the 15thJune. Air France has been a partner airline of Birmingham for many years and offers passengers direct access to Paris and onward connections to up to 150 destinations.
“We want to reassure customers that their safety is our number one priority, and as we restart operations we advise all to please follow the health and safety guidance available on our website. We look forward to welcoming the return of Air France, and its customers, to the airport from Monday.”
In line UK government guidelines, Air France requires customers to wear a mask throughout their journey. Customers will be notified of this via all communication channels (e-mail, sms, websites) prior to their departure and will be asked to ensure they possess one or more masks for their trip.
This is in addition to a range of health & safety measures implemented by Air France in response to the COVID-19 health crisis, which include:
- The compulsory wearing of masks for all airline crew members and airport handling agents in contact with customers
- The modification of customer channels on the ground with the implementation of physical distancing along the customer journey at the airport and the installation of Plexiglas protection screens at airports each time it is possible
- The introduction of temperature checks for departing passengers. These systematic checks will be carried out with contactless infrared thermometers. Customers whose temperature is higher than 38°C this may be denied boarding and their reservation will be changed at no extra charge on a flight at a later date.
- The implementation of physical distancing in the airport and on board where this is possible. Current low load factors make it possible to separate customers in most circumstances. In cases where this is not possible, compulsory face masks ensure adequate health protection
- The reinforcement of daily aircraft cleaning procedures, with the disinfection of all surfaces in contact with customers such as armrests, tables and screens
- The introduction of a specific procedure for the periodic disinfecting aircraft by spraying an approved virucidal product effective for 10 days
- Adapting in-flight service to limit interaction between customers and crew members. On domestic flights and short flights in Europe, meal and beverage services have been suspended. On long-haul flights, cabin service is limited and preference is given to individually wrapped products.
In addition, the air in the cabin is renewed every 3 minutes. The air recycling system on board Air France aircraft is equipped with “High Efficiency Particulate Air” or HEPA filters, identical to those used in hospital operating theatres. These filters extract more than 99.99% of the smallest viruses, including those no larger than 0.01 micrometres, thus ensuring that cabin air complies with quality standards. Coronavirus type viruses, ranging in size from 0.08 to 0.16 micrometres, are filtered through the HEPA filters.
Air France and Birmingham Airport remind passengers that the health and safety of their customers and staff is an absolute priority. Both teams are fully mobilized to ensure the highest levels of health and safety for their customers and to ensure they travel in complete confidence.