Air France sees a 200% increase in demand for luxury destinations


As the northern hemisphere summer holidays come into full swing, passengers are traveling farther and in more comfort. Air France has revealed that customers are booking more long-haul flights than short-haul this year so far, with August being the most popular month to fly.

Travelers are also choosing to fly in premium cabins for both pleasure and work, as business travel makes a steady comeback. The choice of destinations is also moving up. Air France notes a 204% increase in demand for luxury destinations further afield compared to previous summer schedules.


The most popular luxury destination for Air France customers this year is Mauritius. Photo: Air France

The top destinations of 2022… so far

Mauritius is the most popular luxury destination for Air France customers this year. The island is located in the Indian Ocean, near Réunion and Madagascar, and is known for its stunning beaches, landscapes, and resorts. Passenger demand to the island’s Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (MRU) has seen a 337% increase in passengers compared to pre-pandemic travel.

Mainly sunny beach destinations round out the top five luxury destinations. In second place is Saint Martin in the Caribbean Sea, followed by Dubai, Bangkok and Cancun. All five destinations have seen an increase in demand compared to pre-Covid travel.

This year’s top destination across its network is Air France’s hometown of Paris. The airline currently serves more than 150 destinations from Paris at Charles de Gaulle and Orly, which serves as a secondary hub for flights to French overseas territories. Several other long-haul destinations are also on the rise, with Punta Cana, Havana and Johannesburg seeing strong increases in visitor numbers.

The airline is seeing a shift towards long-haul destinations in premium cabins. Photo: Air France

Business travel recovers dramatically.

Premium travel is on the rise across the industry, with customers opting for more comfortable travel as travel returns. SkyTeam airline has seen a marked increase in business travel since the beginning of the year. Air France, which recently introduced a new first-class cabin, has seen a 318% increase in business travel year over year as workplaces shift toward a mix of remote work and in-person events.

There has also been a shift towards premium budget products. Carriers like Finnair, Emirates and KLM are among those making a luxury effort. Premium economy tickets often offer additional benefits, including extra legroom and priority boarding,

Air France has seen a 74% increase in demand for its premium economy cabin since January. The product is offered on board Air France’s Boeing 787s and offers additional space compared to economy class, as well as new seats and a menu inspired by business class. Fahmi Mahjoub, Air France-KLM UK & Ireland General Manager, expects the trend to continue:

“We couldn’t be more excited to see passengers return to air travel, both for business and pleasure. It’s encouraging to see how much people want to explore destinations near and far around the world, and in more comfort than ever thanks to our services at Air France.

“People’s interest in traveling in comfort has not gone unnoticed and that is why Air France is committed to offering a service that caters to that.”

Customers are increasingly moving toward the privacy and space of the premium economy cabin. Photo: Air France

The airline also resumed flying its first-class cabin, La Première, on flights to Brazil’s São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport aboard its Boeing 777-300 fleet.