Come next June, New Yorkers and Parisians alike could be crossing the Atlantic in comfort and at a bargain rate if they play their cards right.
Last week, low-cost long-haul airline French bee announced its latest route: beginning June 10, 2020, one flight will operate daily between Paris-Orly and Newark Liberty International. The carrier held off on revealing ticket prices until bookings opened today, and the delay didn't put a damper on the pleasant surprise. While French bee's other routes start at US$189 (€171) for basic economy and US$239 (€216) for smart economy with extra amenities (23 kg of checked baggage and a meal), the Paris-Orly to Newark route will start at $139 (€126) for basic and $209 (€189) for smart. (The airline only has a few destinations; it currently offers connections between Paris and Punta Cana, Réunion Island, Tahiti, and San Francisco, and between San Francisco and Paris and Tahiti.)
When the EWR - ORY route launches next year, it will be with a fleet of Airbus A350 XWBs, a fuel-efficient aircraft that reportedly reduces CO² emissions by 25%. French bee says the planes were specifically designed with the comfort of long-haul passengers in mind, with air exchange every three minutes, serious sound insulation for four times less noise than the Boeing 787, and all-around LED lighting that makes it easier to nod off and wake up.
That’s a good thing, too, because the only flight heading east to west is a red-eye, departing from Newark at 6:15 p.m. and arriving in Orly at 7:30 the next morning. On the return leg, it leaves Orly at 2:00 p.m. and lands at Newark at 4:15 p.m.
“With our A350s, passengers are only experiencing pressure equivalent to a stay at an altitude of 1800 metres, creating a much more comfortable atmosphere,” says sales director Sophie Hocquez, adding that the inclination of the walls creates more space. “Our customers...have said they experience less fatigue, and are ready to enjoy their stay as soon as they step on the ground.”
This story was originally published on September 13, 2019, and updated on September 18.