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Air France-KLM group announced this week a staggering 58 new routes on Air France, KLM and Transavia, including long-haul jaunts between Paris (CDG) and Dallas (DFW) and Amsterdam-Schiphol (AMS) and Boston (BOS). As SkyTeam buddies, Air France, KLM and Delta are tight, so this route expansion is great news for those hoping to chase Delta status while flying to destinations that Delta itself does not serve. It’s also terrific for flyers who want to burn their SkyMiles on award seats offered by partner airlines.
Air France’s also announced a route of nearly 6,000 miles between Paris (CDG) and Quito (UIO), operated thrice weekly by an Airbus A340. KLM’s longest two additions are Amsterdam (AMS) to both Boston (BOS) and Las Vegas (LAS), which clock in at 3,457 miles and 5,355 miles, respectively. For the CDG-DFW route, Air France plans to use the same redesigned Airbus A330 that TPG Global News Editor Emily McNutt recently flew between Paris (CDG) and Houston (IAH). It will operate five times weekly through the summer season.
KLM’s service to Boston and Las Vegas will start from March 31 and June 6, respectively, while it also plans to increase its flight frequency to San Francisco (SFO) in July with an additional weekly flight (bringing it to six flights per week).
The Air France-KLM group is also boosting service to Tokyo with 2 additional flights to Tokyo-Haneda (HND) from Paris with Air France (14 weekly flights) and 3 additional flights to Tokyo-Narita (NRT) from Amsterdam with KLM (10 weekly flights). With these increased frequencies, the group is increasing capacity by 12% to Japan.
During the peak summer season, a slew of new routes will open new earning and redeeming opportunities to regions not served or severely underserved by SkyTeam until now. Destinations like Belgrade (BEG), Naples (NAP), Crete (HER), Sardinia (CAG), Sicily (PMO) and Split (SPU) will gain service from Paris (CDG), while Transavia will add new Greek isles to its service from various points in Europe, including Kos (KGS), Santorini (JTR), Mykonos (JMK) and Zakynthos (ZTH).
Those considering Air France for flights to India will appreciate the redesigned A330 that will be assigned to Bangalore (BLR) and Delhi (DEL), offering 36 business class seats, 21 seats in premium economy and 167 seats in economy. And Air France will welcome its very first Airbus A350 on an undisclosed route this September, while the extended length Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner joins KLM in July.
Boosting Your SkyMiles Balance
If you’re looking to jump on one of these new routes using Delta SkyMiles, you’ll need to make sure you have a healthy balance to spend. There are a variety of ways to earn Delta miles, from Delta-operated flights to trips on SkyTeam airlines to various non-travel partners. However, one of the best ways to boost your SkyMiles balance to score a few free trips is by adding one of these cards to your arsenal:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express ($550 annual fee; See Rates & Fees); 60,000-point welcome bonus after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months, though be sure to check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for a 100,000-point welcome bonus (you can transfer Membership Rewards points directly to Delta SkyMiles)
- The Business Platinum® Card from American Express ($595 annual fee; See Rates & Fees); 50,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of card membership
- Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express ($450 annual fee; See Rates & Fees); 75,000-mile welcome bonus plus 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 7/2/19.
- Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card ($450 annual fee (See Rates & Fees); 80,000-mile welcome bonus plus 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 7/2/19.
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For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Business Card, click here.
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