OpenSkies service to Montreal features in Paris Orly slot shuffle

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British Airways' all-premium transatlantic carrier OpenSkies appears to be preparing to start services to Canada from Paris Orly.

French slot co-ordinator COHOR has today listed British Airways among the recipients of 3,952 redistributed slots at Orly, and identified Montreal as the requested destination.

COHOR says that OpenSkies is to gain 728 of the re-allocated slots, enough for a daily service.

British Airways, which already operates its OpenSkies fleet of Boeing 757-200s from Paris Orly to Newark and Washington, could not immediately confirm plans for a Montreal link.

The available Orly slots have arisen partly from the French Government's returning several public service obligation slots - for routes to Cherbourg and Beziers - while other carriers have either lost, or failed to take up, slot rights.

COHOR says it has re-assigned the slots on the basis of requests for the winter 2010 season, although it adds that airlines allocated the new slots on an annual basis will be allowed to start flights before the end of the current summer season.

Half the 3,952 available slots must be handed to new entrant airlines. Germanwings has secured 1,248 slots as a new entrant and plans to operate 12 weekly flights between Paris Orly and Cologne.

Transavia France has been granted slots for a daily Grenada flight, while the remaining ones have been allocated to Vueling, Air Europa and Aigle Azur.