In a bold and strategic move that significantly impacts Air France’s domestic flight operations, the airline has unveiled plans to relocate all its domestic flights from Paris-Orly Airport to its primary hub, Paris Charles De Gaulle. This shift, a response to evolving travel trends and government policies, reflects Air France’s commitment to adapting to the changing landscape of domestic air travel.
By 2026, Air France will transition all its domestic point-to-point routes, encompassing key destinations like Toulouse, Marseille, and Nice, to Charles De Gaulle Airport. Furthermore, flights to the French Overseas Territories, including Pointe-à-Pitre, Fort-de-France, and Saint-Denis de La Réunion, will be similarly affected. Notably, the low-cost subsidiary, Transavia, will maintain its operations from Orly.
Upon the full implementation of this transition, Orly will serve as the exclusive hub for Air France’s mainline brand for flights to Corsica. These routes are operated under a Public Service Order, obliging the airline to uphold these services.
Air France has outlined plans to reduce capacity on its domestic routes by 10% as part of this transition. Meanwhile, the capacity on flights to the French Overseas Territories will remain unaffected.
This strategic shift is prompted by a combination of factors, as Air France noted, “The rise of videoconferencing, the drop in domestic business travel, and the growing shift toward rail are leading to a structural fall in demand on Air France’s domestic point-to-point network.” The decline in passenger traffic on domestic routes from Paris-Orly over the past few years is substantial, with an overall reduction of 40% and a remarkable 60% decrease in day-return trips from 2019 to 2023.
This development is closely tied to a decree issued by the French government earlier this year, which initially affected select routes from Paris Orly to Nantes, Bordeaux, and Lyon. However, it has since evolved to encompass broader changes in Air France’s domestic flight operations, aligning with the government’s vision for the future of domestic air travel.