Given that most big airline news seems to involve consolidation, it may be a nice break to hear news of a new-ish, (hopefully) lower-cost carrier entering the market.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Air France will launch a new budget airline serving cities in the U.S. and Asia starting in late 2017.
The new carrier, which would fly routes that are less profitable for Air France services, will likely start with trips in Asia next winter before moving across the Atlantic.
It should be noted that Air France already operates two budget airlines in Europe with the Hop and Transavia brands.
The move to create the new budget airline comes as a way for Air France to cut costs, both in service and staff.
Air France said the new airline will be staffed by pilots who voluntarily choose to move to the new service. However, these employees would be expected to work more hours for the same pay.
Additionally, the WSJ reports that new flight attendants would be hired with fewer benefits than those of Air France’s traditional service.
Still, the company says that while the new line would be less lavish than Air France flights currently are, it won’t be as basic as other discount carriers.
Air France’s future service will have stiff competition, the WSJ reports, with other airlines such as Lufthansa, British Airways, and Norwegian Air that already operate discount airlines in Asia and North America.
Air France Plans No-Frills Airline to Serve Asia, U.S. [The Wall Street Journal]
by Ashlee Kieler via Consumerist