C’est Brillant! AF Connects B.C. To Paris

with B.A.

Royal Scenic Holidays' Ben Ayow, Ivy Yeung &
Jerry Lo with AF's Jean-Noel Rault & Delta Air
Lines' Ranjan Goswami

Louis Duvernois, French Senator; Jean-Noel
Rault, VP & GM, Air France-KLM Canada;
Patrick Alexandre, EVP – Commercial, Sales
and Alliances, Air France-KLM; Anne Murray,
VP – Marketing and Communications, YVR;
Frédéric Fefebvre, French Deputy & Nicolas
Chapuis, French Ambassador to Canada

Ravinder Gaba, Gaba Travel; Sukhvinder
Dhami, Skylink Canada; Paul & Raj Gill from
Gill International Travel

Delta Air Lines' Mark Paparo & Adeline
Piekham-Hsieh with Kiran Budhdev,
Huntington Travel

Air France has finally expanded its wings to Canada's west coast.

The travel industry in B.C. is abuzz with excitement over the recent launch of non-stop flights between Vancouver and Paris. At an evening reception held at the rooftop pavilion of the Vancouver Art Gallery, agents and tour operators rubbed shoulders with local, federal and French politicians, AF cabin crew and members of the French community.

Several guests flew into town for the event including French Senator Louis Duvernois; Frédéric Fefebvre, French Deputy for French citizens living in North America; Maxime Bernier, Canada's Minister of State, Tourism, Small Business & Agriculture; and Athana Mentzelopoulos, B.C.'s Deputy Minister of State, Tourism & Small Business.

Initially, the B777-200 service will offer a frequency of 3 times per week, increasing to 5 in the peak summer season.

According to Jean-Noel Rault, VP & GM, Air France-KLM Canada, the trade and the local French community are equally enthusiastic about this new opportunity to reach France. Craig Richmond, President & CEO for YVR, took advantage of the inaugural flight to Paris for a vacation.

AF is currently in the midst of upgrading its fleet to incorporate new cabins in all classes for its long-haul flights. Paris-based Patrick Alexandre, EVP – Commercial, Sales and Alliances, Air France-KLM, said that on July 13, YVR would be the first to receive the newly revamped aircraft.

Business Class seats will feature the “3Fs" – full flat bed, full access to the aisle regardless of seat location and full privacy via the seat's “enveloping curves". Premium Economy will offer more comfortable seat cushions and multi-position footrest. The completely redesigned Economy Class seat will have more legroom, softer headrests, a larger tray table and electric sockets.

The airline has embarked on a new advertising campaign with the tagline, “France is in the air", portraying French excellence and lifestyle.

Air France alliance partner KLM is also inaugurating western Canada service with a new non-stop 3 times weekly between Amsterdam to Edmonton on May 19.

The frequency will increase to four as of June 22. KLM will also be introducing its new long-haul cabins, but initially only on its YYZ route.

At the end of the evening, guests were encouraged to check out the exhibits at the art gallery including the one on “Cezanne and the Modern:

Masterpieces of European Art from the Pearlman Collection". What can I say?

France is certainly in the air.

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