MONTREAL — Air France and KLM have issued updated information for Canadians looking to travel to France and the Netherlands now that non-essential travel to the two countries from Canada is no longer allowed.
“The new European Union rules, and the steps taken by each of the countries involved, are restricting travel possibilities to France and the Netherlands for all Canadians, who are no longer permitted to enter these countries for non-essential reasons,” said Catherine Guillemart-Dias, VP and General Manager, Air France KLM Canada.
“Nonetheless, as we have been doing since the pandemic’s outset, we are maintaining operations to provide those who need and are able to travel with options, including Canadians exempted from these measures, nationals with a valid passport from the countries involved, and anyone whose final destination connects via Charles de Gaulle or Schiphol,” she said.
After reopening to Canadian travellers on July 1, the EU closed its doors to Canadians once again last month.
Even with the new restrictions, Air France and KLM continue to fly out of Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver.
Air France will operate 10 outbound flights a week from Canada in November, and up to 17 in December, aboard Boeing B787s and Airbus A350s.
KLM will offer a total of 17 flights/week, to which will be added 2 rotations of all-cargo flights to Toronto. Edmonton will be served by an ‘out-and-back’ flight via an inbound Calgary arrival: AMS-YYC-YEG, then Edmonton – Amsterdam direct.
Meanwhile EU, Schengen area and UK residents and passport holders can still enter France and the Netherlands, notes Guillemart-Dias, although health and safety requirements – e.g. negative rapid COVID testing, quarantining – vary according to origin and destination.
But with some exceptions, including visa holders and people travelling for specific business needs, humanitarian or medical purposes, Canadian passport holders travelling for non-essential reasons are now forbidden from entering France and the Netherlands.
All travellers, regardless of nationality, authorized to fly to France will require to complete an International Travel Certificate to Mainland France and a Sworn Statement of absence of COVID-19 symptoms.
In addition, a negative COVID test is now mandatory to enter France. It is recommended that a test be taken and the results obtained less than 72 hours prior departing from Canada. Tests are also available on arrival at Charles-de-Gaulle airport. As for the Netherlands, each visitor must complete a Passenger Health Declaration.
Canadians may still transit through Amsterdam or Paris to travel to other Air France KLM countries they are permitted to enter. Passengers in transit are submitted to the entry regulations of their final destination country. Should their connection in Paris or Amsterdam be on a flight operated by another airline, it is recommended to check the rules to transfer to this carrier prior departure.
Guillemart-Dias notes that border openings and closings continue to fluctuate all over the world. Passengers are responsible for all the documents they require for their trip and must ensure they meet all of the destination country’s legal requirements pertaining to immigration and border control. Travellers are advised to check with the country in question as to the rules they must follow both at the time of booking their flight, a few days prior their departure and before leaving home for the airport.
The entry requirements for many countries – including France – now include a negative COVID-19 test result. In France, only RT PCR, RT LAMP or Antigenic tests will be accepted. Air France and KLM have agreements in place with various laboratories and clinics in Canada, aimed at accelerating the testing process for their customers and making it possible for them to meet the requirements of the countries involved.
Air France and KLM have adapted their commercial policies and rolled out commercial measures that are 100% flexible, says Guillemart-Dias.
Passengers no longer able to travel as a result of these new rules can rebook in the same booking class for another date – no fee, no reason required. Or they may request a credit voucher. This policy also applies to all new bookings, whether the cancellation is triggered by changes in rules at the flight destination or a decision to call off the trip, regardless of the reason, says Guillemart-Dias.