Nonstop flights from Denver to Paris will launch in April
Nonstop flights from Denver to Paris will begin in April.
Denver International Airport finally has made the French connection.
The airport and city officials announced Thursday that Norwegian Air will begin flying to Paris next year — capping a decades-long quest to convince an airline to commit to the route.
The airline will fly to Charles de Gaulle Airport in the French capital twice a week starting April 9, 2018. It’s the fourth international destination that DIA has added in three months.
On its website Thursday, Norwegian Air offered round-trip fares on the route starting at $474 in April 2018 and reaching $906 in July.
The Colorado Economic Development Commission agreed this week to provide $500,000 in cash over the next two years from the state’s strategic fund to help the airline market the year-round flight.
State economic development officials estimate the new flight will generate 350 jobs, $12 million in new wages and $40 million in additional economic activity. About 70 percent of the economic impact will come from increased tourism to the state.
The airport says Paris is its largest unserved market.
“A recent survey conducted by (DIA) in cooperation with the Rocky Mountain French American Chamber of Commerce showed that 74 percent of those surveyed would travel more frequently to France if there were nonstop flights between Denver and Paris,” the airport said in a news release.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said the new flight “further elevates Denver’s position as a global city.”
Airport officials said nearly 200 people a day travel between Denver and Paris, ranking the French city as Denver’s secondlargest market in Europe behind London. The demand for travel between Denver and Paris has grown by more than 20 percent over the past year and is today at alltime highs.
The new service will operate twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays. The flight is scheduled to arrive in Denver at 6:15 p.m. and depart at 8:15 p.m. Norwegian Air will use a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to operate the route. The state-of-the-art airplanes have 344 seats.
“It’s an exciting day for Colorado travelers who, for too long, have faced high fares and limited choices. This new route is a win for all of our customers,” Thomas Ramdahl, chief commercial officer at Norwegian, said in a news release. “Paris is a very attractive destination, for both leisure and business travelers alike.”
In April, Norwegian Air announced it would begin low-cost flights to London’s Gatwick Airport from DIA.
With the addition of the Paris flight, there are now 25 international destina- tions in 11 countries served by DIA.
“Securing nonstop flights to Paris has been very high on our priority list since I took over as CEO nearly a decade ago and this is a game changer for Denver,” DIA’s chief executive officer, Kim Day, said in a written statement. “We expect that this new flight will significantly stimulate the already strong demand for travel between Denver and Paris, with the hope of increased frequencies in the future.”
City and airport officials have been making trips to Paris and offering financial incentives to airlines including Air France for at least two decades to try to secure direct flights. The airport had better luck with other European cities over the years, and in 2013 it achieved a milestone by adding nonstop service to Tokyo.