|// (c) 2011 Air France|
Mickey Mouse, bands and a water cannon saluted Air France’s inaugural flight from Paris to Orlando – Air France’s newest U.S. gateway. To celebrate the flight to Orlando, Mickey Mouse came all the way from Disneyland Paris to make a surprise appearance at terminal 2E at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, for the enjoyment of the passengers on flight AF694.
Accompanied by the Disneyland Paris band, Mickey Mouse was happy to pose for the inevitable photo session and helped to cut the ribbon in the boarding lounge. The flight captain and a flight attendant came to greet him at the door of the Boeing 777-300ER.
The rare photo also includes three children from the group of 15 teenagers invited by the Air France Foundation to discover the delights of Orlando, Disney World and the Kennedy Space Center. These children will be making a photographic documentary of their trip in the form of a travel diary. Their photos will be exhibited in September at the Air France Head Office.
A water cannon salute, provided by the Greater Orlando Airport Authority, welcomed the flight as it touched down in Orlando. Following the airport festivities, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to launch the first non-stop Orlando to Paris outbound flight.
“Customers will now be able to discover all that Paris, the most visited city in the world, has to offer from its world-renowned gastronomic history to its cultural offerings from fashion and shopping to design. In addition, customers will benefit from easy connections at Paris-Charles de Gaulle hub to Europe, Middle East & Africa.” said Patrick Roux, senior vice president of Air France and KLM for the Americas.
The new nonstop flights operate three times per week in collaboration with Delta, and will depart Orlando on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 8:45 p.m. and arrive in Paris the next day at 11:10 a.m. local time. The return flights will depart from Paris on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1:45 p.m., arriving in Orlando at 5:05 p.m. local time. The Boeing 777-300ER will offer two cabins: Affaires/Business Class and Voyageur/Economy Class.
The flights operate within the framework of the trans-Atlantic joint venture agreement signed in May 2009 between Air France, KLM and Delta and enlarged to Alitalia in July 2010. Under the terms of this agreement, the partners jointly operate and share the revenues and costs of their trans-Atlantic routes, Air France said.