Air France has announced a revamp of its regional services which will operate under the new brand Hop.
Officially branded HOP!, the new carrier will integrate the Air France group’s three existing regional airlines – Brit Air, Regional and Airlinair – under the one brand.
Hop will operate 530 daily flights to 136 destinations from March 31 in France and Europe using a fleet of 98 aircraft with between 48 and 100 seats. Fares will start at €55 one way.
Air France is currently undergoing a major reorganisation, named Transform 2015, in a bid to make its short and medium-haul operations profitable again.
From summer 2013, Hop will operate point-to-point flights from Paris-Orly as well as the French domestic network. It will also run some services, on behalf of Air France, from the hub at Paris Charles de Gaulle, including flights to Bristol and Aberdeen.
Air France CEO Alexandre de Juniac said, “Our new regional airline will be a real asset to better serve all customer segments, in France and in Europe.”
This move comes hot on the heels of Lufthansa deciding to switch all non-hub regional traffic to its Germanwings brand.
Hop is also offering a similar fare structure to Germanwings, with Basic, Basic Plus and Maxi Flex options, with one piece of cabin baggage and a snack included whatever fare paid.
One piece of checked baggage weighing up to 23kg is charged at €15 per leg when paid online and €30 at the airport for the Basic fare, but comes included on Basic Plus. A second piece costs €44 for both Basic and Basic Plus customers when purchased online, and €55 when purchased at the airport. Maxi Flex customers can check-in two pieces of luggage free of charge.
Seat selection is not yet available but will be accessible to Maxi Flex customers from July.
Earlier this month Air France launched a low-cost “Mini” fare on domestic flights from Paris-Orly, as well as “most medium-haul flights on departure from the regional bases in Marseille, Nice and Toulouse.” This does not include seat selection, checked luggage or frequent flyer miles.