7 NOVEMBER 2016
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A new stand-alone airline that will fly long- and medium-haul international routes was reported on Saturday to be in the planning stages at Air France-KLM as a way to fight back against the fast-growing carriers of the Middle East.
According to USA Today, the company, which has not yet been named, would fly international routes where heavy competition and fare-discounting have made it difficult for Air France-KLM to be profitable.
Air France-KLM said the airline would fly up to 10 aircraft by 2020, with newly-opened routes making up about a third of its schedule.
The company said in a statement: “It will be focused on ultra-competitive markets and will enable (us) to go on the offensive by opening new routes, re-opening routes closed due to their lack of profitability and maintaining routes under threat.”
Air France-KLM said the new airline would operate with fewer frills than parent’s standard international service, but denied it would be a discount carrier. “(It) will propose a simple, modern and innovative offer, whose positioning will not be low cost,” Air France-KLM said.
The first flights are expected to begin operating from Paris Charles de Gaulle late next year.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
Henk Heiden, Netherlands
According to a Dutch newspaper report, the CEO of Air France-KLM has said that the name for the new airline will be 'Air France ...eh... something'. That is promising, such nice thinking ahead... I am afraid that a real vision is not present within Air France-KLM. Neither as it was when KLM decided to end the passenger services of their daughter airline Martinair. Martinair could have easily been been used for long-haul routes in this context and than already being in place for a number of years.
Keith Robinson, United Kingdom
Interesting that this boost for AMS and CDG should be announced after the LHR RWY 3 decision. They know LHR will not be able to adjust to 'more economical' carriers within any threatening timescale - but LGW would!