SkyTeam Newsreel: Air France Opens Lounge in Los Angeles, Delta Takes Mickey Mouse to Heathrow

walt disney world orlando florida

SkyTeam airlines Air France and Delta Air Lines shared a couple of interesting announcements during the past week, two of them involving destinations that are famous for their Walt Disney theme parks. French carrier Air France will open a lounge at Los Angeles International airport, while Delta adds a non-stop service from Orlando to London to their network.

Delta Adds Four Weekly Flights from Orlando to London

During their 2024/2025 winter schedule, Delta Air Lines will add another non-stop flight from US soil to London-Heathrow, increasing their list of direct services from the British capital to eight. Four times a week, the airline will send an Airbus A330-900neo from Central Florida to Europe. While the airline praises the possible connections with SkyTeam partner Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow, Delta’s offering might also cut into Virgin Atlantic’s daily service between the two airports. In addition, competitors British Airways and Norse Atlantic Airlines offers three daily nonstop services from Gatwick.

Orlando is famous for its many theme parks: Four of them are located on the premises of Walt Disney World (which you can explore for free), two more in Universal Studios Orlando. The Kennedy Space Center and cruise hub Port Canaveral are just a sixty-minute car ride away from Orlando’s McCoy International airport (MCO), which has been one of Delta’s focus cities for decades. The airline has yet to announce flight times and numbers.

Air France Opens Lounge at Los Angeles Airport

Good news for SkyTeam status holders flying out of Los Angeles’ Tom Bradly International Terminal (TBIT): On June 21, 2024, Air France opened a new lounge at the terminal. The offering is a welcome addition to the only other SkyTeam lounge at the terminal, which is run by Korean Airlines. In contrast to the Asian airlines’ lounge, which doors remain closed for vast parts of the day, the Air France lounge is open daily from 9:00 to 23:30. While Delta runs a couple of SkyClubs at LAX, those are inconveniently far away in Terminals 2 and 5.

Air France Lounge LAX Rendering
Rendering of the new Air France Lounge at LAX. ©Air France

Air France offers up to four daily flights between Los Angeles and Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport. Some of these flights continue to Papeete, the largest city on Tahiti and capital of French Polynesia. With two daily KLM flights to Amsterdam, Virgin Atlantic’s thrice daily service to London, ITA’s daily connection to Rome and soon SAS’ service to Copenhagen, there is a lot of SkyTeam traffic between Southern California and Europe each day. And that doesn’t even account for passengers on SkyTeam services to Latin America and Asia out of TBIT. Those will also have access to the lounge, either with a business class ticket or SkyTeam ElitePlus status.

Air France Cuts Dar es Salaam in Favor of Kilimanjaro

Aside from their new lounge in Los Angeles, Air France also announced changes to their African network, specifically on their flights to Tanzania. Starting November 18, 2024, the French carrier ditches the country’s capital in favor of Kilimanjaro airport, which is a more favorable destination for tourists. Air France currently serves Dar es Salaam in combination with the island of Zanzibar in a triangular flight. This will also be the case for the new route to Kilimanjaro. Because there is no clear distinction between inbound and outbound, all flights have the same flight number AF 847.

  • AF 847: Paris CDG 10.10 – ZanzibarZNZ 21.10, operated on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays
  • AF 847: Zanzibar ZNZ 22.55 – KilimanjaroJRO 23.55, operated on Mondays, Wednesday and Saturdays
  • AF 847: Kilimanjaro JRO 1.25 – Paris CDG 08.50, operated on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays

Air France does not sell tickets for the Zanzibar to Kilimanjaro segment.

Air France will deploy Airbus A350-900 jets on this route, a change to their current service to Dar Es Salaam. These flights are operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. The equipment change results in growing capacity in all three cabin classes. SkyTeam passengers wanting to get from Paris to Dar Es Salaam will no longer be able to fly nonstop in at least one direction, and have to change planes either in Nairobi (with Kenya Airways) or Amsterdam (with KLM).

Cover Picture: © Pixabay user stinne24 under pixabay license

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