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dcajet
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After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 6:57 pm

One part COVID 19, one part Venezuela's own crisis.

It was announced yesterday that after 68 years of serving CCS, AF will not resume flying to Venezuela. CCS used to be one of AF's premier destinations in South America, including Concorde service in the late 70s and 80s. Recently AF was serving CCS with the A330-200.

With AF's departure, there are less than 10 international airlines that continue to call at CCS, once one of the top airports in South America.

https://twitter.com/JuanTeixeiraD/statu ... 3241805824

Image
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Antarius
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:23 pm

I'm shocked it has taken this long
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Babyshark
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 7:51 pm

Antarius wrote:
I'm shocked it has taken this long


Sums it up quite nicely.
 
dcajet
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:07 pm

Antarius wrote:
I'm shocked it has taken this long


Pre-COVID, and provided airlines navigated successfully the difficulties that operating in Venezuela entail, CCS could be a profitable destination with very limited seat supply, high fares and a small-ish but consistent demand. Enter COVID and the whole operation is no longer feasible.

With AF's exit, there are only 8 airlines left serving CCS, if and when the country reopens itself to airline traffic:

* Air Europa
* Iberia
* Plus Ultra
* TAP Portugal
* Turkish Airlines
* COPA
* Wingo
* Caribbean Airlines
Keep calm and wash your hands.
 
Corpsnerd09
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:33 pm

dcajet wrote:
Antarius wrote:
I'm shocked it has taken this long


Pre-COVID, and provided airlines navigated successfully the difficulties that operating in Venezuela entail, CCS could be a profitable destination with very limited seat supply, high fares and a small-ish but consistent demand. Enter COVID and the whole operation is no longer feasible.

With AF's exit, there are only 8 airlines left serving CCS, if and when the country reopens itself to airline traffic:

* Air Europa
* Iberia
* Plus Ultra
* TAP Portugal
* Turkish Airlines
* COPA
* Wingo
* Caribbean Airlines


Depending on what happens with IAG, Air Europa might also be "gone" soon too
 
airzona11
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 8:43 pm

Used to be one of the premier destinations in the network. Can't imagine any premium demand either direction, except one-way tickets out of there.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 9:26 pm

This isn't surprising at all. There is no demand on either end (and very little before COVID). Venezuela is a mess. Most airlines pulled out long ago.
 
DDR
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:01 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
This isn't surprising at all. There is no demand on either end (and very little before COVID). Venezuela is a mess. Most airlines pulled out long ago.


Very true. The country is a mess.
 
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Boeing757100
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:25 pm

FINALLY. Even after LH pointed the ax, I was surprised they didn't either. Even after the US3 pulled out, they didn't.

I think Iberia and TAP might pull out if demand doesn't come back.
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RainerBoeing777
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:50 pm

Boeing757100 wrote:
FINALLY. Even after LH pointed the ax, I was surprised they didn't either. Even after the US3 pulled out, they didn't.

I think Iberia and TAP might pull out if demand doesn't come back.


With the reduction of the fleet that Iberia made with the retirement of the A340-600, they may suspend their services to CCS :(
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leleko747
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 10:52 pm

Hard not to involve politics with this. COVID aside, this is what you get with a government like that. I'm also surprised it took them so long to pull the plug.
I wonder when people will understand:
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peterinlisbon
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:09 pm

I went to Venezuela about 10 years ago and it was scary. I thought things couldn't get any worse, but things seem to have continued to decline beyond what anyone would have thought was possible. Caracas is a huge city and the airport is literally on the shore of the Atlantic/Caribbean, so it would really be a great gateway to the continent if and when things change.
 
LH658
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Fri Sep 25, 2020 11:45 pm

Lot of Business between France and Caracas, and lot of is shady too, there's reason why there's a flight.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 12:50 am

I'm surprised that TP still flies to CCS, even if on leased metal. The main reason is the inability to repatriate money. TP will probably be next to go. I wouldn't be surprised if IB decides to quit, and if successful in buying UX, UX would quit too. Ultimately, I see only CM/P5, BW, and TK in CCS long-term. BW and CM/P5 can be in and out in one shift, and TK facilitates geopolitical relations. (CM/P5 probably prints money on services to PTY and BOG.) Once aviation recovers, I expect carriers to codeshare with CM galore, even outside of Star Alliance.
 
dcajet
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:04 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
I'm surprised that TP still flies to CCS, even if on leased metal. The main reason is the inability to repatriate money. TP will probably be next to go. I wouldn't be surprised if IB decides to quit, and if successful in buying UX, UX would quit too. Ultimately, I see only CM/P5, BW, and TK in CCS long-term. BW and CM/P5 can be in and out in one shift, and TK facilitates geopolitical relations. (CM/P5 probably prints money on services to PTY and BOG.) Once aviation recovers, I expect carriers to codeshare with CM galore, even outside of Star Alliance.


Actually TP will no longer fly to CCS using EuroAtlantic metal. From December onward TP will resume flying to CCS with their own A330-900 NEO, twice a week.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... -dec-2020/

The repatriation of hard currency is no longer the main factor preventing airlines from operating in Venezuela: those that still operate there have long established policies and procedures that allow them to bypass the FX restrictions. As the situation in the country went from bad to worse, other circumstances arose that make continued operations in CCS a challenge to say the least. To name a few: inability to guarantee the safety of flight crews while on layovers, safety at the airport for customers, employees and operations alike, etc.
Keep calm and wash your hands.
 
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Irehdna
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 2:24 am

Hard to believe just a decade ago CCS saw a daily 744 from both AF and LH, and (per WP) about as busy as LIM and EZE.

IIRC there is still a small upper class community in the city. It is a small enclave with private security, secluded from the rest of the city. I would imagine these folks earn in dollars rather than bolivar.
 
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gatibosgru
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:57 am

dcajet wrote:
Antarius wrote:
I'm shocked it has taken this long


Pre-COVID, and provided airlines navigated successfully the difficulties that operating in Venezuela entail, CCS could be a profitable destination with very limited seat supply, high fares and a small-ish but consistent demand. Enter COVID and the whole operation is no longer feasible.

With AF's exit, there are only 8 airlines left serving CCS, if and when the country reopens itself to airline traffic:

* Air Europa
* Iberia
* Plus Ultra
* TAP Portugal
* Turkish Airlines
* COPA
* Wingo
* Caribbean Airlines


Surprised but not shocked no Brazilian airline is left.
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USAirALB
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 4:50 am

I'm sure they will be back eventually.

People seem to forget that there is an upper class "bubble" per se that exists in Caracas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYQIq7zW5L8) that still very much possess the means to travel abroad (obviously not now due to COVID). As dcajet said above, fares are often high on CCS-European routes and demand is somewhat high enough to make the runs profitable, even with the current situation there.
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dcajet
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:36 am

gatibosgru wrote:
dcajet wrote:
Antarius wrote:
I'm shocked it has taken this long


Pre-COVID, and provided airlines navigated successfully the difficulties that operating in Venezuela entail, CCS could be a profitable destination with very limited seat supply, high fares and a small-ish but consistent demand. Enter COVID and the whole operation is no longer feasible.

With AF's exit, there are only 8 airlines left serving CCS, if and when the country reopens itself to airline traffic:

* Air Europa
* Iberia
* Plus Ultra
* TAP Portugal
* Turkish Airlines
* COPA
* Wingo
* Caribbean Airlines


Surprised but not shocked no Brazilian airline is left.


GOL was one of the first airlines to up sticks from Venezuela, back in 2016. Shortly after Aeromexico and LATAM left, then Avianca and in 2018, Aerolineas Argentinas, leaving COPA (and Wingo, its Colombian low cost) as the only Latin American airlines to continue offering service to Venezuela. I believe GOL was the only Brazilian airline connecting the 2 countries.

https://www.reuters.com/article/gol-lin ... SL2N15O23Q
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Aesma
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:53 am

LH658 wrote:
Lot of Business between France and Caracas, and lot of is shady too, there's reason why there's a flight.


Also let's keep in mind France is a Caribbean country and a South American country on top of an European one (and Indian Ocean, and Pacific Ocean, and Antarctic...).

No direct flight left that I could find, though.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Cointrin330
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 11:58 am

USAirALB wrote:
I'm sure they will be back eventually.

People seem to forget that there is an upper class "bubble" per se that exists in Caracas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYQIq7zW5L8) that still very much possess the means to travel abroad (obviously not now due to COVID). As dcajet said above, fares are often high on CCS-European routes and demand is somewhat high enough to make the runs profitable, even with the current situation there.


Direct flights and demand beyond a handful of rich people and VFR will likely not return until the global economy begins to heal and demand for oil rises, at which point, Venezuela's resources will be tapped once more. The country is a complete basket case. It sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world and cannot ever seem to exploit that benefit adequately. What made the AF flight exist has a lot less to do with rich jet setters and a lot more to do with the oil industry and other trade links with Europe.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:21 pm

Curious: did AF ever serve CCS from either PTP or FDF using a Caribbean fleet plane?
 
konrad
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:21 pm

The Concorde service from CDG to CCS, where did it stop en-route?
 
Antarius
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:31 pm

konrad wrote:
The Concorde service from CDG to CCS, where did it stop en-route?


I believe it was SMA in the Azores
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Let's all just use some common sense
 
Thibault973
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 5:59 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Curious: did AF ever serve CCS from either PTP or FDF using a Caribbean fleet plane?


I know they served CCS from CAY at one point.
 
acavpics
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:43 pm

I just did a google images search of "Caracas", expecting it to be full of pictures depicting chaos, poverty, violence etc. But instead, they were all picturesque images of beautiful scenery advertising "best places to stay in Caracas."

Is there a lot of China-style media censorship to prevent images that make their country look bad from going on the web?
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:30 pm

acavpics wrote:
I just did a google images search of "Caracas", expecting it to be full of pictures depicting chaos, poverty, violence etc. But instead, they were all picturesque images of beautiful scenery advertising "best places to stay in Caracas." Is there a lot of China-style media censorship to prevent images that make their country look bad from going on the web?


No, and particularly important - as it is unlikely that you are researching your topic from and IP address controlled by the Chinese, or Venezuelans - so those rules would hardly apply to you.

Increase the parameters of your search and you will find what you are looking for.

Don't underestimate the incredible power of ineptitude - it too, can be manipulated to hide menace.
If the facts don't suit the regime, they simply might not get reported.
In that way, some of the darker depths are less visible.

To be less veiled: Lake Maracaibo was the largest lake in South America, is one of the most ancient on the planet (forming 20-36MYA), is fed by some of the richest rivers in the world and is then connected to the Gulf of Venezuela through a tiny channel. The biodiversity within the lake alone would be vital to understanding the world's past and current ecology (can you imagine now, our future?), never mind that it also feeds ecosystems downstream. It hosts one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen - the Catatumbo lightning. This lake, this sacred channel of water that kept boats safe - when seen through European eyes - was baptised as "like Venice" - a name bourn of beauty - like Venice - Venezuela. It names, and defines a nation.

This lake can be seen from space.

Now, so can it's pollution...

Now, I can explain why:

but instead, they were all picturesque images of beautiful scenery advertising "best places to stay in Caracas."


...because the reality never changed. Venezuela is land of extreme beauty, with images of places and things that will move your soul. It is a carving of the richest parts, and one of the most vibrant cultures - a defining feature of what it is to be American, to be New World, to be bold and daring - to be Bolivarian. This is land of the llanos, and the amazon, of great gulfs and artery like rivers, of the Ancient Lake Maraicabo in the West, and the Mighty Orinoco Basin in the East (and the mountain ranges/continental shelf of the Guyana region). This is the land that sits upon the world's largest oil reserves. This is a nation with a population of 28 million people.

expecting it to be full of pictures depicting chaos, poverty, violence etc.


Look, and you'll find it. That's what makes this shocking, deplorable - and adds to the true nature of Venezuela (extremity) - She is extremely beautiful, extremely picturesque, extremely rich, extremely diverse, and can support a people of extreme talents, diversity, and skill - and yet, even here, we have extreme poverty, extreme violence, and worse - at best, extreme 'ineptitude' keeping a regime in place that is has been extremely successful at extracting that extreme inequality to extremely profit. Venezuela is a nation of extremes - it has consistently produced some of the most extremely beautiful people in the world (it's not a Miss Universe pageant without a Miss Venezuela), extremely talented people in the world (Latin Music as it is today, would cease to exist without Venezuela's participation in the past, in the present - and hopefully, proudly into the future), with an extremely notable cuisine (just based on the diversity - of food biomes available, a diverse population and a small population for such a large nation's size) - why would surprise you then, when you find that there is also extreme darkness there as well. The benefit of the nation, was when great leaders understood this, guarded and effectively managed this, and propelled the nation to her rightful place - a nation of extreme potential, wealth, beauty, resources and people. Now, instead - to be polite, we watch in shame - at the extremity of it, and pardon it by claiming " extreme ineptitude". It is extremely upsetting, extremely frustrating and if you're in Venezuela right now - extremely incomprehensible.

Brining it home - in my own lifetime - I watched Venezuela go from being the crown jewel in AA's MIA operation - to survival, via weekly flights to DAM on Con-Viasa. I hope one day, and soon, to see Her rise again.
Last edited by Rajahdhani on Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
devron
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:37 pm

Venezuela is one of the few countries in the world I still need to visit, I guess I need to wait a decade at least.
 
Antarius
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 7:45 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
I'm sure they will be back eventually.

People seem to forget that there is an upper class "bubble" per se that exists in Caracas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYQIq7zW5L8) that still very much possess the means to travel abroad (obviously not now due to COVID). As dcajet said above, fares are often high on CCS-European routes and demand is somewhat high enough to make the runs profitable, even with the current situation there.


Direct flights and demand beyond a handful of rich people and VFR will likely not return until the global economy begins to heal and demand for oil rises, at which point, Venezuela's resources will be tapped once more. The country is a complete basket case. It sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world and cannot ever seem to exploit that benefit adequately. What made the AF flight exist has a lot less to do with rich jet setters and a lot more to do with the oil industry and other trade links with Europe.


Don't count on it. The infrastructure and PDVSA is a disaster and the days of extraordinary effort to overcome such odds due to ever increasing demand are over.
Militant Centrist
Let's all just use some common sense
 
2travel2know2
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:58 pm

Thibault973 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
Curious: did AF ever serve CCS from either PTP or FDF using a Caribbean fleet plane?


I know they served CCS from CAY at one point.
If AF wanted to keep CCS, it could return to fly narrow-body between PTP/FDF and CCS for connections for CDG/ORY.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
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SRQKEF
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:46 am

Rajahdhani wrote:
acavpics wrote:
I just did a google images search of "Caracas", expecting it to be full of pictures depicting chaos, poverty, violence etc. But instead, they were all picturesque images of beautiful scenery advertising "best places to stay in Caracas." Is there a lot of China-style media censorship to prevent images that make their country look bad from going on the web?


No, and particularly important - as it is unlikely that you are researching your topic from and IP address controlled by the Chinese, or Venezuelans - so those rules would hardly apply to you.

Increase the parameters of your search and you will find what you are looking for.

Don't underestimate the incredible power of ineptitude - it too, can be manipulated to hide menace.
If the facts don't suit the regime, they simply might not get reported.
In that way, some of the darker depths are less visible.

To be less veiled: Lake Maracaibo was the largest lake in South America, is one of the most ancient on the planet (forming 20-36MYA), is fed by some of the richest rivers in the world and is then connected to the Gulf of Venezuela through a tiny channel. The biodiversity within the lake alone would be vital to understanding the world's past and current ecology (can you imagine now, our future?), never mind that it also feeds ecosystems downstream. It hosts one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen - the Catatumbo lightning. This lake, this sacred channel of water that kept boats safe - when seen through European eyes - was baptised as "like Venice" - a name bourn of beauty - like Venice - Venezuela. It names, and defines a nation.

This lake can be seen from space.

Now, so can it's pollution...

Now, I can explain why:

but instead, they were all picturesque images of beautiful scenery advertising "best places to stay in Caracas."


...because the reality never changed. Venezuela is land of extreme beauty, with images of places and things that will move your soul. It is a carving of the richest parts, and one of the most vibrant cultures - a defining feature of what it is to be American, to be New World, to be bold and daring - to be Bolivarian. This is land of the llanos, and the amazon, of great gulfs and artery like rivers, of the Ancient Lake Maraicabo in the West, and the Mighty Orinoco Basin in the East (and the mountain ranges/continental shelf of the Guyana region). This is the land that sits upon the world's largest oil reserves. This is a nation with a population of 28 million people.

expecting it to be full of pictures depicting chaos, poverty, violence etc.


Look, and you'll find it. That's what makes this shocking, deplorable - and adds to the true nature of Venezuela (extremity) - She is extremely beautiful, extremely picturesque, extremely rich, extremely diverse, and can support a people of extreme talents, diversity, and skill - and yet, even here, we have extreme poverty, extreme violence, and worse - at best, extreme 'ineptitude' keeping a regime in place that is has been extremely successful at extracting that extreme inequality to extremely profit. Venezuela is a nation of extremes - it has consistently produced some of the most extremely beautiful people in the world (it's not a Miss Universe pageant without a Miss Venezuela), extremely talented people in the world (Latin Music as it is today, would cease to exist without Venezuela's participation in the past, in the present - and hopefully, proudly into the future), with an extremely notable cuisine (just based on the diversity - of food biomes available, a diverse population and a small population for such a large nation's size) - why would surprise you then, when you find that there is also extreme darkness there as well. The benefit of the nation, was when great leaders understood this, guarded and effectively managed this, and propelled the nation to her rightful place - a nation of extreme potential, wealth, beauty, resources and people. Now, instead - to be polite, we watch in shame - at the extremity of it, and pardon it by claiming " extreme ineptitude". It is extremely upsetting, extremely frustrating and if you're in Venezuela right now - extremely incomprehensible.

Brining it home - in my own lifetime - I watched Venezuela go from being the crown jewel in AA's MIA operation - to survival, via weekly flights to DAM on Con-Viasa. I hope one day, and soon, to see Her rise again.


Beautifully said.

FI operated 757s and 767s for SBA for many years and a captain I know has described the fast and extremely sad decline of the country. At the beginning of the wet lease operation (around 2005) the crew went to different restaurants every evening, taking in the vibrant nightlife and wonderful cuisine. At the end of it, only 10 years later, they couldn’t accept takeaway pizza in the lobby of the airport hotel without armed guards coming along with them. An Icelandic mechanic from the airline was also kidnapped at CCS airport, very fortunately managing to escape from the trunk of the kidnappers’ car when it stopped at a red light.

I just hope that the country will one day change course and provide its people with a safe way of living. There are very few places in the world higher on my bucket list when it comes to natural wonders than the beautiful rain forests and mountains of Venezuela.
Nothing compares to taking off in an empty 757 with full thrust!
 
abrelosojos
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 10:23 am

I am biased, but Venezuela will be back. As an "immigrant" to the country, Venezuela will rebuild. It will take time, but it will get there. UX is rumoured to go, leaving IB and TP as the 2 major European airlines left. Look at some of the fares they are charging, especially TP! It may not bring a lot of passengers, but it is certainly high yield!

Saludos,
Alex
Live, and let live.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 11:43 am

abrelosojos wrote:
I am biased, but Venezuela will be back. As an "immigrant" to the country, Venezuela will rebuild. It will take time, but it will get there. UX is rumoured to go, leaving IB and TP as the 2 major European airlines left. Look at some of the fares they are charging, especially TP! It may not bring a lot of passengers, but it is certainly high yield!

Saludos,
Alex


It will take decades for Venezuela to get back on its feet.
 
jmmadrid
Posts: 379
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 3:38 pm

2travel2know2 wrote:
Thibault973 wrote:
aemoreira1981 wrote:
Curious: did AF ever serve CCS from either PTP or FDF using a Caribbean fleet plane?


If AF wanted to keep CCS, it could return to fly narrow-body between PTP/FDF and CCS for connections for CDG/ORY.


They could, but it's not very efficient.

Passengers originating in Caracas would have to spend an additional 1:30-2:00 hours in PTP or FDF to change planes. AF would have to allow about 6 hours between the inbound and the outbound flight so that the Airbus 320 can fly to CCS to deliver the passengers, pick up the new passengers and fly them back to FDF/PTP. Also, AF carries a large number of passengers who connect at Paris to somewhere else, so CCS passengers' journey would have 3 segments instead of 2. Some connections might not be possible or unattractive due to long waiting hours or a required overnight. In addition, AF would have to block up to 174 seats from the PTP/FDF-CDG flight and I can imagine people from the islands would complain that half the flight is being sold to Caracas passengers and there are less available seats for them (or more expensive).

None of these obstacles is unsurmountable, but AF would have to work out the details well.
Don’t confuse my personality with my attitude. My personality is who I am. My attitude depends on who you are.
 
Max Q
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:23 pm

konrad wrote:
The Concorde service from CDG to CCS, where did it stop en-route?



Occasionally it was able to fly the eastbound flight non stop


Cant find the article but I believe one of those non stops holds the record for the longest time spent at M2 with that type in passenger service
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
MIflyer12
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:35 pm

jmmadrid wrote:
2travel2know2 wrote:
Thibault973 wrote:

If AF wanted to keep CCS, it could return to fly narrow-body between PTP/FDF and CCS for connections for CDG/ORY.


They could, but it's not very efficient.

Passengers originating in Caracas would have to spend an additional 1:30-2:00 hours in PTP or FDF to change planes. AF would have to allow about 6 hours between the inbound and the outbound flight so that the Airbus 320 can fly to CCS to deliver the passengers, pick up the new passengers and fly them back to FDF/PTP. Also, AF carries a large number of passengers who connect at Paris to somewhere else, so CCS passengers' journey would have 3 segments instead of 2. Some connections might not be possible or unattractive due to long waiting hours or a required overnight. In addition, AF would have to block up to 174 seats from the PTP/FDF-CDG flight and I can imagine people from the islands would complain that half the flight is being sold to Caracas passengers and there are less available seats for them (or more expensive).

None of these obstacles is unsurmountable, but AF would have to work out the details well.


In open, competitive markets with lots of carriers that would doom AF but that's not really the situation here. Avg fares should be pretty good, too. Blocking seats for thru travelers is hardly a new trick. Before we had 747-200 range, that was the intercontinental norm.
 
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 4:55 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
jmmadrid wrote:
2travel2know2 wrote:
If AF wanted to keep CCS, it could return to fly narrow-body between PTP/FDF and CCS for connections for CDG/ORY.


They could, but it's not very efficient.

Passengers originating in Caracas would have to spend an additional 1:30-2:00 hours in PTP or FDF to change planes. AF would have to allow about 6 hours between the inbound and the outbound flight so that the Airbus 320 can fly to CCS to deliver the passengers, pick up the new passengers and fly them back to FDF/PTP. Also, AF carries a large number of passengers who connect at Paris to somewhere else, so CCS passengers' journey would have 3 segments instead of 2. Some connections might not be possible or unattractive due to long waiting hours or a required overnight. In addition, AF would have to block up to 174 seats from the PTP/FDF-CDG flight and I can imagine people from the islands would complain that half the flight is being sold to Caracas passengers and there are less available seats for them (or more expensive).

None of these obstacles is unsurmountable, but AF would have to work out the details well.


In open, competitive markets with lots of carriers that would doom AF but that's not really the situation here. Avg fares should be pretty good, too. Blocking seats for thru travelers is hardly a new trick. Before we had 747-200 range, that was the intercontinental norm.


It still is used too. DL is flying JNB-CPT-ATL for example (among many others)
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AF0X
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 5:14 pm

Sad to see AF end its CCS service but hope they can restart this route once things get better.

Also, funny how usually this website will heavily moderate even thinly political comments but whenever it comes to Venezuela or 'socialism' (as previous posters mentioned on this very thread), nothing happens… whatever happened to keep it aviation-related only?
 
2travel2know2
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 7:31 pm

jmmadrid wrote:
2travel2know2 wrote:
Thibault973 wrote:

If AF wanted to keep CCS, it could return to fly narrow-body between PTP/FDF and CCS for connections for CDG/ORY.


They could, but it's not very efficient.

Passengers originating in Caracas would have to spend an additional 1:30-2:00 hours in PTP or FDF to change planes. AF would have to allow about 6 hours between the inbound and the outbound flight so that the Airbus 320 can fly to CCS to deliver the passengers, pick up the new passengers and fly them back to FDF/PTP. Also, AF carries a large number of passengers who connect at Paris to somewhere else, so CCS passengers' journey would have 3 segments instead of 2. Some connections might not be possible or unattractive due to long waiting hours or a required overnight. In addition, AF would have to block up to 174 seats from the PTP/FDF-CDG flight and I can imagine people from the islands would complain that half the flight is being sold to Caracas passengers and there are less available seats for them (or more expensive).

None of these obstacles is unsurmountable, but AF would have to work out the details well.
There are actually days when AF has 2 or more flights between Paris and those islands with 6-8 in between them, but one of those daily flights might be from/to ORY..
There's also this issue that CCS origin passengers most likely would have to go thru Schengen immigration @ PTP or FDF before being able to board CDG/ORY bound flights.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
LatinPlane
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:00 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Curious: did AF ever serve CCS from either PTP or FDF using a Caribbean fleet plane?


Yes, for a long time AF flew PTP-FDF-CCS. Per AF schedule 92/93 - AF flew into CCS with a 737 1x weekly.

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... e-network/

Image

Venezuela is always fascinating due to its extraordinary circumstances of being once the richest country in the region to an unfortunate state comparable with that of Haiti. It is hard not to get embroiled into politics, but if you research the country in all aspects, it is ahead of its time during its black-gold rush years.

With its vast oil revenues, CCS was huge revenue earner for the world's airlines with tons of lucrative business flying into the country and out of the country for pleasure. One can find interesting stuff on youtube these days.

Pan Am advertisement for Venezuela featuring Pan Am's Clipper Club at CCS. It was clear that Pan Am had a lucrative business with its high-end Venezuelan clientele not just in Caracas, but also in Maracaibo.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9XLr_6IA2gc

Documentary in Spanish of Venezuelans traveling to Miami primarily to shop and the economic benefits these once represented to the Southern Florida economy. See Pan Am 747s lifting off from CCS. Demand was so big that flights operating MIA-CCS 3h-10min flights were operated by 747s, DC-10s, and L-1011s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Crx0AlnewDs&t=305s

Lastly, this De Havilland Comet on a demonstration flight from Caracas to Maracaibo. It appears De Havilland was showcasing it to Avensa. Those Comets were originally ordered by Pan Am and then shifted to its Mexicana subsidiary. Avensa also being a PA subsidiary at the time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0eQgCODwQM

Avensa instead went with Convair and ordered the 880 as seen below. Venezuela flushed with cash could buy it all. The 880s would then be transferred to newly formed VIASA, which would become Venezuela's once proud national flag carrier.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-Qk2xz7DtU
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:57 pm

SRQKEF wrote:
Beautifully said.

FI operated 757s and 767s for SBA for many years and a captain I know has described the fast and extremely sad decline of the country. At the beginning of the wet lease operation (around 2005) the crew went to different restaurants every evening, taking in the vibrant nightlife and wonderful cuisine. At the end of it, only 10 years later, they couldn’t accept takeaway pizza in the lobby of the airport hotel without armed guards coming along with them. An Icelandic mechanic from the airline was also kidnapped at CCS airport, very fortunately managing to escape from the trunk of the kidnappers’ car when it stopped at a red light.

I just hope that the country will one day change course and provide its people with a safe way of living. There are very few places in the world higher on my bucket list when it comes to natural wonders than the beautiful rain forests and mountains of Venezuela.


Thank you,

What I think also was a bit shocking, from the aviation perspective - is that it was precisely lucrative to many carriers, not only AF, or AA. SBA's operation took it to Tenerife! The demand was not only there, but also a vibrant enough of an economy to support multiple airlines, and an aviation sector that should, at this point, support a carrier that surpasses LATAM's or Avianca's capabilities, superior geography for connecting traffic, and lower costs than European rivals on the same routes. On every note of success to Venezuela, there was enough to have a strong local competitor. The legacy of Aeropostal alone, should warrant its own movie - and yet, nothing left.
 
upperdeckfan
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:44 pm

As others have said, TP and IB will stay in CCS. There is little demand but there is so little offer that they can charge whatever they want.

Lots of VFR traffic Europe-Caracas, Venezuelans based in Europe are paying up to 1400EUR R/T in Y, to have relatives spending time with them. J seats are filled by gov't officials, some oil traffic and the Caracas jet-set some have already mentioned.

2x or 3x weekly to LIS and MAD is not that hard to be filled even on a market like CCS, surprised AF left.

dcajet wrote:
With AF's departure, there are less than 10 international airlines that continue to call at CCS, once one of the top airports in South America.


In the mid 80's I recall:

BA-B742
AF-B742
KL-DC10
IB-DC10
TP-A310
AZ-DC10
LH-B742
SR-DC10

On top of that Viasa competing with all of them serving MAD, LIS, CDG, LHR, ZRH, FCO, FRA on DC10.

What a shame....
748,744,742,741,772,773,762,763,
764, 789, 732,733,735,737,738,739,
752, 722, 717,74M,DC10,DC9,M82,
M83, M87, M88,310,319,320,321,332,
333, 343, 346,359,388,L1011,CR2,
CR7, CR9,CRK, E175,E190,ATR42,
DSH8, CS1,CS3
 
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Rajahdhani
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:09 am

2travel2know2 wrote:
jmmadrid wrote:
2travel2know2 wrote:
If AF wanted to keep CCS, it could return to fly narrow-body between PTP/FDF and CCS for connections for CDG/ORY.


They could, but it's not very efficient.

Passengers originating in Caracas would have to spend an additional 1:30-2:00 hours in PTP or FDF to change planes. AF would have to allow about 6 hours between the inbound and the outbound flight so that the Airbus 320 can fly to CCS to deliver the passengers, pick up the new passengers and fly them back to FDF/PTP. Also, AF carries a large number of passengers who connect at Paris to somewhere else, so CCS passengers' journey would have 3 segments instead of 2. Some connections might not be possible or unattractive due to long waiting hours or a required overnight. In addition, AF would have to block up to 174 seats from the PTP/FDF-CDG flight and I can imagine people from the islands would complain that half the flight is being sold to Caracas passengers and there are less available seats for them (or more expensive).

None of these obstacles is unsurmountable, but AF would have to work out the details well.
There are actually days when AF has 2 or more flights between Paris and those islands with 6-8 in between them, but one of those daily flights might be from/to ORY..
There's also this issue that CCS origin passengers most likely would have to go thru Schengen immigration @ PTP or FDF before being able to board CDG/ORY bound flights.


Here's a rather wild idea - and pardon the ignorance if any - but would not a HOP!-esque operation be best for the short/medium term in some cases? I am not advocating that the A320s are not necessary - however, if expansion is necessary, some markets might not be able to handle A320s and/or might be better served with better frequencies.

I doubt CCS could sustain daily services for a while, but weekly services might work with an occasional A320. If needed, cap seats on those Trans-Atlantic flights so as to not too much upset the need for the local demand. Choose the 'slowest' day of the week and use that to run a service, with what lower demands can combine on that day (weaker cities) and just add CCS to that list. I also think that CCS provides a large enough market to consider catering to itself, be it at reduced frequencies. It's not as if, what is left of the Venezuelans that can afford it (and there are some, not sanctioned) have anywhere to be able to go to. It's a shorter hop that going to Europe and may well be a decent (and I admit, that the costs of goods in the Caribbean, due to shipping everything in - is more expensive than it would be perhaps if purchase in Europe) - however for specific items, some luxury goods, cosmetics and/or for no other reason that to transact business - it might be a lucrative pick up and a 'hop to Europe' without needing to cross the pond.
 
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:29 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
USAirALB wrote:
I'm sure they will be back eventually.

People seem to forget that there is an upper class "bubble" per se that exists in Caracas (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYQIq7zW5L8) that still very much possess the means to travel abroad (obviously not now due to COVID). As dcajet said above, fares are often high on CCS-European routes and demand is somewhat high enough to make the runs profitable, even with the current situation there.


Direct flights and demand beyond a handful of rich people and VFR will likely not return until the global economy begins to heal and demand for oil rises, at which point, Venezuela's resources will be tapped once more. The country is a complete basket case. It sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world and cannot ever seem to exploit that benefit adequately. What made the AF flight exist has a lot less to do with rich jet setters and a lot more to do with the oil industry and other trade links with Europe.

Until trade and industry is normalized, travel will only decline. A crisis only accelerates trends.

To others:
That small pocket can hire business jets. It will not fill A330s or other TATL aircraft.

When business can invest with confidence that they can keep their assets, Venezuela will start a recovery.

Until then, the means if production were seized from those with the ability to produce. Without meaningful pay, there us no desire.

Air travel is more and more the middle class. It will take a generation, but Venezuela could eventually rebuild.

Everyone should read books by Bernstein on how bad laws stop economic development, including air travel. Venezuela volunteered to be the bad example. Sadly, only they can themselves fix this problem and grow air travel.

Lightsaber
5 months without TV. The best decision of my life.
 
2travel2know2
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Tue Sep 29, 2020 4:29 pm

Rajahdhani wrote:
2travel2know2 wrote:
jmmadrid wrote:

They could, but it's not very efficient.

Passengers originating in Caracas would have to spend an additional 1:30-2:00 hours in PTP or FDF to change planes. AF would have to allow about 6 hours between the inbound and the outbound flight so that the Airbus 320 can fly to CCS to deliver the passengers, pick up the new passengers and fly them back to FDF/PTP. Also, AF carries a large number of passengers who connect at Paris to somewhere else, so CCS passengers' journey would have 3 segments instead of 2. Some connections might not be possible or unattractive due to long waiting hours or a required overnight. In addition, AF would have to block up to 174 seats from the PTP/FDF-CDG flight and I can imagine people from the islands would complain that half the flight is being sold to Caracas passengers and there are less available seats for them (or more expensive).

None of these obstacles is unsurmountable, but AF would have to work out the details well.
There are actually days when AF has 2 or more flights between Paris and those islands with 6-8 in between them, but one of those daily flights might be from/to ORY..
There's also this issue that CCS origin passengers most likely would have to go thru Schengen immigration @ PTP or FDF before being able to board CDG/ORY bound flights.


Here's a rather wild idea - and pardon the ignorance if any - but would not a HOP!-esque operation be best for the short/medium term in some cases? I am not advocating that the A320s are not necessary - however, if expansion is necessary, some markets might not be able to handle A320s and/or might be better served with better frequencies.

I doubt CCS could sustain daily services for a while, but weekly services might work with an occasional A320. If needed, cap seats on those Trans-Atlantic flights so as to not too much upset the need for the local demand. Choose the 'slowest' day of the week and use that to run a service, with what lower demands can combine on that day (weaker cities) and just add CCS to that list. I also think that CCS provides a large enough market to consider catering to itself, be it at reduced frequencies. It's not as if, what is left of the Venezuelans that can afford it (and there are some, not sanctioned) have anywhere to be able to go to. It's a shorter hop that going to Europe and may well be a decent (and I admit, that the costs of goods in the Caribbean, due to shipping everything in - is more expensive than it would be perhaps if purchase in Europe) - however for specific items, some luxury goods, cosmetics and/or for no other reason that to transact business - it might be a lucrative pick up and a 'hop to Europe' without needing to cross the pond.
Continuing with the wild ideas, a good way for AF to make sure any CDG/ORY connecting A320 to/from CCS @ FDF/PTP pays for itself is to time those flights between the islands and CCS with AF FDF/PTY MIA flights (of course AF must now sell that connection by separate tickets). Voila!, with the MIA transfers, the first few flights just paid for the A320 entire monthly operation.
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Rajahdhani
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:10 pm

2travel2know2 wrote:
Continuing with the wild ideas, a good way for AF to make sure any CDG/ORY connecting A320 to/from CCS @ FDF/PTP pays for itself is to time those flights between the islands and CCS with AF FDF/PTY MIA flights (of course AF must now sell that connection by separate tickets). Voila!, with the MIA transfers, the first few flights just paid for the A320 entire monthly operation.


I honestly typed this twice before chickening out of it in my original posts. The MIA end-run is something that has helped both CM and BW with that market, when all others were shut out of service. I mean, it's not a bad idea, and the connection oppurtunities to connect might be better costing than an CCS-based operator. AF may well be one of first operators to return to CCS when conditions improve (non-stop to Paris), but until then, this seems like a great run.
 
ScottB
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Re: After 68 years, AF stops flying to CCS

Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:53 pm

Antarius wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
The country is a complete basket case. It sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world and cannot ever seem to exploit that benefit adequately. What made the AF flight exist has a lot less to do with rich jet setters and a lot more to do with the oil industry and other trade links with Europe.


Don't count on it. The infrastructure and PDVSA is a disaster and the days of extraordinary effort to overcome such odds due to ever increasing demand are over.


Those huge oil reserves might ultimately be near worthless given worldwide efforts to address climate change. Venezuela's crude is ultimately of very poor quality -- it requires some refining before it can be shipped overseas (that's part of why refineries were built in Aruba & Curaçao). Production has fallen below 10% of peak levels and may approach zero as soon as next year. They can't even refine enough gasoline to meet domestic demand anymore. As oil producers start to chase declining global demand for fossil fuels, Venezuela may very well be left out in the cold.

But yeah, oil has historically driven a good chunk of demand to CCS. PDVSA's US subsidiary, Citgo, is based in Houston and that no doubt drove a bunch of demand for the non-stop on CO/UA. Back before it folded, VIASA served IAH as well.

jmmadrid wrote:
They could, but it's not very efficient.

Passengers originating in Caracas would have to spend an additional 1:30-2:00 hours in PTP or FDF to change planes. AF would have to allow about 6 hours between the inbound and the outbound flight so that the Airbus 320 can fly to CCS to deliver the passengers, pick up the new passengers and fly them back to FDF/PTP. Also, AF carries a large number of passengers who connect at Paris to somewhere else, so CCS passengers' journey would have 3 segments instead of 2. Some connections might not be possible or unattractive due to long waiting hours or a required overnight. In addition, AF would have to block up to 174 seats from the PTP/FDF-CDG flight and I can imagine people from the islands would complain that half the flight is being sold to Caracas passengers and there are less available seats for them (or more expensive).


You do realize that in the current economic context, efficiency in the use of aircraft is largely irrelevant. There's plenty of slack in the AF fleet and you're talking about losing maybe a day of utilization per week across the entire widebody fleet. How many dozen AF widebodies are sitting parked right now?

If you need to travel to/from CCS your options are already severely limited. If you can even get permission to enter another country, an inconvenient schedule is probably the least of your concerns. If AF really faces a shortage of capacity between PTP/FDF and PAR due to seats blocked for CCS passengers, they have the option of increasing gauge and/or frequency to make seats available for domestic itineraries.

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