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September 22, 2008

Air India Bids Paris Adieu

by Bryan Pirolli

Bad news for budget travelers. As of October 24, there will be no more cheap flights from New York to Paris aboard Air India. The carrier will cut its direct service between Newark International and Paris's Charles de Gaulle airports, according to a supervisor at the company. The flight, which ends in India but stops in Paris, has been one of the most inexpensive ways to get to the City of Lights for years. 

I only found this out when I called to change my flight and a representative told me that my flight from Paris would now be aboard Continental. Air India is currently facing the task of arranging flights for all passengers who booked before October 24.

With so many industry changes afoot, this alteration comes as no surprise. But it is a big hit to budget-conscious travelers who rely on the airline to get to France. Fortunately, it seems they can trade in their chicken tikka masala for some coddle and a Guinness. Aer Lingus, the Irish carrier, offers a nice alternative to Air India with a slight difference: The carrier makes a stop in Dublin before heading to Paris. The price, though, is almost unbeatable. 

That being said, in this time of financial uncertainty--Aer Lingus is facing a possible buyout by Ryanair--I wouldn't be surprised if I booked the flight and ended up on United. 

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