Air France-KLM is trying to take on the low-costs with a new airline.
Hop! has been created through the merger of its regional units Brit Air, Regional Air and Airlinair as part of a reshuffle of the group’s loss-making short and medium-haul operations.
The new airline’s president, Lionel Guerin, said: “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.”
This is all part of Air France- KLM’s plan to cut costs to pay back debt.
Five thousand jobs will go in an attempt to turn around its short and medium-haul business, which lost 700 million euros in 2011.
The head of Air France, Alexandre de Juniac, explained why they have created the new carrier: “We need the marketing and commercial strength under a new brand name which embodies dynamism, youth, creativity, marketing. We thought there was a strong need for that.”
De Juniac is just about to to step up into the big seat, from running Air France to being in charge of the whole group as Chief Executive and Chairman Jean-Cyril Spinetta steps down in just over three months time.
A reshuffle of top executives is also intended to eliminate overlaps from the 2004 merger of Air France and KLM.