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Air France lands in Vancouver

WATCH: If you’re looking for a cheap flight this summer, Europe may be the best destination. Nadia Stewart explains.

On a dreary Sunday morning, Vancouver International Airport welcomed Air France, as the airline officially launched its direct service between Paris and Vancouver.

As of March 29, Air France will be flying non-stop from Vancouver to Paris three times per week until May 3, then five times a week between May 4 and September 13. The number of flights will back down to three times a week from September 14 to October 24. The airport’s president and CEO says the partnership has been years in the making.

“The people of Vancouver and B.C. have been looking for a flight directly to Paris for over twenty years. The #1 most requested destination,” says Craig Richmond.

The first flight touched down at YVR just before noon and it was full. Vancouver passengers set to board the inaugural flight say the new option is saving them both time and money.

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“We priced it out and this was definitely the best,” says Carly Vela, an American college student travelling to Europe with a friend. “We’re both students and we’re on a budget–a college budget. We go to the University of Washington in Seattle and so we were just trying to find the best price for us and this was it.”

Experts say with a weaker Canadian dollar, there are advantages to travelling in Europe right now.

“A lot of people don’t want to go somewhere where the US dollar is key because our dollar doesn’t go that far,” says travel expert Claire Newell. “But the euro has come down and the Canadian dollar, you get more bang for your buck going to Europe.”

The new service at the Vancouver International Airport also means more jobs. Airport officials estimate about 250 new positions will be created thanks to the expanded service

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