Air France Launches New Low-Cost Airline 'Hop!'

Category: Companies / Mar 26, 2013 12:35PM EDT
Air France unveiled its new low-cost Hop! fleet on Tuesday (March 26), ready to take to the skies across France and Europe starting March 31. The airline was created through the merger of regional units Brit Air, Regional Air and Airlinair. The President of Hop! said he hoped to convince clients to travel with them by rivaling low-budget competitors. "I'm very moved today because it's a new French company -- around 100 planes, 530 flights a day, 136 destinations, 8 million passengers and more than 3000 collaborators. So it's really a renaissance of regional air transport in France and in Europe. We've got a lot of journeys all over in different areas. The aim is to win back clients with fares that are cheaper, more accessible and more transparent," Lionel Guerin said. The move is part of a reshuffle of the group's loss-making short and medium-haul operations. Air France’s President said there was a need to appeal to younger customers. "We need the marketing and commercial strength under a new brand name which embodies dynamism, youth, creativity, marketing, new options, targeting all the public coming from everywhere, for leisure, for business. We thought there was a strong need for that. And we are sure that we will succeed," Alexandre de Juniac said. Prices for tickets start at 55 euros and are banded into three categories depending on the amount of flexibility and luggage passengers require. The fleet has various sizes of aircraft and flights can be booked to European destination including Rome and Budapest. Under a three-year plan dubbed "Transform 2015," Air France- KLM is seeking to cut costs to pay back debt. It will cut 5,000 jobs to turn around its short and medium-haul business, which lost 700 million euros in 2011. Video Source: Reuters