The Airbus A380 will make its first ever visit to Mexico next month when Air France utilises one of its fleet of super jumbos on its route from Paris Charles de Gaulle to Cancun for a one-time schedule on November 27, 2013 as part of the carrier’s 80thanniversary celebrations, as well as Grupo ASUR's 15th anniversary of operations at Cancun International Airport.
“35 years after Concorde landing in Mexico City, the arrival of the A380 to Cancun shows the importance of Mexico and Latin America for Air France-KLM. This one time operation reflects our interest to always innovate and surprise our customers. It is also a strong recognition to the Mexican authorities and all the customers who place their trust on us,” said Patrick Alexandre, executive vice president commercial, sales & marketing, Air France-KLM.
Air France and its sister carrier KLM currently offer three flights per day between their respective hubs in Paris and Amsterdam and Mexico City while the seasonal Cancun flight is being flown five times weekly from the French capital during the winter 2013/2014 schedule and is normally operated by a Boeing 777.
"With this unique flight, we mark the story of the commercial aviation in Mexico showing for the first time, the most iconic aircraft in our fleet, for its size, modernity and comfort by reaching the charm of the Yucatan Peninsula. With this event we reaffirm our confidence in the future growth of the economic, political and cultural relations between Mexico and Europe” said Jerome Salemi, General Manager of Air France KLM in Mexico.
The special A380 arrival will mark the aircraft type’s first appearance on a scheduled flight into Latin America and it is a massive coup for Grupo ASUR for Cancun International Airport to be the first destination in the region to welcome the behemoth.
“The ASUR Group on its 15th anniversary of operations of the International Airport of Cancun, is proud to welcome the A380 of Air France. Few airports worldwide are ready to receive this giant of the air, we anticipated for several years. The entire team of professionals in Cancun is more than ready to receive this wonderful commercial aircraft,” said Fernando Chico Pardo of Grupo ASUR.
“The choice of Cancun is very symbolic, confirming once again that Cancun and the Yucatan Peninsula is positioned as a highly attractive destination for all the actors in tourism industry and foreign investors” added Roberto Borge Angulo, Constitutional Governor of the State of Quinta Roo, Mexico.
Air France’s A380 fleet is configured in a four-class, 516-seat arrangement. The nine aircraft it currently has in service are used on routes from its Paris hub at Charles de Gaulle Airport to Los Angeles, New York and Washington in the United States; Johannesburg, South Africa; Tokyo, Japan and Shanghai, China. The airline has recently painted one of its fleet of A380s and an A320 in a special 80th anniversary livery. Both aircraft will wear the additional markings for a one-year period.
"We have a very rich heritage, which we have built up over the years and which is a very strong competitive advantage. I am pleased that Airbus has chosen to take part in this event to sport the Air France 80th anniversary livery all over the world. It is also a great opportunity to share this anniversary with customers and staff," said Frédéric Gagey, chairman and chief executive officer of Air France.