• France edition
 
Air France's Hop! to rival easyJet and Ryanair
File photo of an Air France plane. Photo: BriYYZ/Flickr

Air France's Hop! to rival easyJet and Ryanair

Published: 30 Jan 2013 11:50 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Jan 2013 14:00 GMT+01:00

Air France has announced the launch of Hop!, a new low-cost airline it hopes will rival established budget operators like easyJet and Ryanair. The cheapest seats will be available for €55 one-way with 530 daily flights serving airports all over France and Europe.

Most of the 136 destinations the airline will serve will be in France, but flights will also depart to towns and cities across Europe, from Budapest in Hungary to Aberdeen in Scotland. The service is due to be up and running by March 31st.

The company hopes the budget airline will stem the increasing share of the French market held by other low-cost operators, which currently stands at 20 percent, according to figures published in the French media.

"Air France had to react before its share of the market shrank to little more than a trickle," an expert told French news website Le Tribune.

Airline industry analyst Marc Watkins from specialist website anna.aero, told The Local on Wednesday that Air France's gamble could pay-off.

“It will be a real challenge, but one way that Hop! could succeed is by feeding passengers into Air France’s long-haul network,” he said.

“If I fly Hop! from Nantes to Paris, and then onto Singapore, that second leg is what could work for Air France, while Hop! itself may just have to function as a loss-leader,” he added.

Hop! will offer passengers three different price packages, the cheapest of which will be a one-way ticket for €55 available only to those travelling without luggage. There will be a Basic Plus service and a Maxi Flex offer which will allow customers to cancel and change tickets free of charge. Tickets can be purchased at www.hop.fr

The new airline is the result of a merger between Air France’s subsidiaries Britair, Regional and Airlinair.

The merger is conspicuous for its exclusion of CityJet – Air France’s loss-making subsidiary based in Ireland – a fact that did not escape Watkins' notice.

“The launch of Hop! seemed like an obvious chance to merge all four [Air France] subsidiaries, but CityJet has been left out, which begs the question ‘Why?’”

The Irish subsidiary has experienced some turbulence in the last year, with its Paris-based pilots threatening to strike last Christmas, and a French court fining the airline for paying its French employees under Irish contracts.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Le Pen's unholy alliance hoping to destroy the EU
France's National Front party is trying to build a European far-right coalition. Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP

Le Pen's unholy alliance hoping to destroy the EU

France’s National Front party is trying to unite a multi-nation, far-right alliance ahead of next month’s crucial European elections. The distinctly anti-EU mob would include Nazi sympathisers, anti-Muslim leaders and fervent nationalists. We take a closer look. READ () »

Chinese crackdown hurts French booze sales
A Chinese crackdown on leaders posh gifts and lavish meals has hurt French booze sales. Photo: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP

Chinese crackdown hurts French booze sales

French booze sales in China have taken a hit after party leaders cracked down on extravagant gift-giving and sumptuous feasts in the wake of several stinging corruption scandals. READ () »

Blood on cloth didn't belong to King Louis XVI
A gourd said to hold the blood of France's last king, Louis XVI, in fact doesn't. Photo: File

Blood on cloth didn't belong to King Louis XVI

Scientists say a morbid souvenir from the execution of France's last king, a cloth dipped in his blood, is a fake. The long controversial keepsake has previously been verified as containing the blood of Louis XVI. READ () »

The view from La Rue
Parisians really are rude to tourists -  true or false?
Is the rude Parisian waiter more of a myth than a reality? We ask tourists visiting Paris to decide. Photo: Fred Dufour/AFP

Parisians really are rude to tourists - true or false?

Almost a year ago it seemed like stories of Parisians being rude to tourists would soon be a thing of the past, when city tourist chiefs published a guide on how to better welcome visitors. The Local took to the streets to see if tourists had noticed a difference. READ () »

France bids to cut EU's reliance on Russian gas
A view of the Russian gas giant Gazprom's recently built Adler thermal power plant. France wants to cut Europe's reliance on Russian gas. Photo: Yuri Kabodnov/AFP

France bids to cut EU's reliance on Russian gas

As the Ukraine crisis intensifes and threatens to divide Russia from the West, France and Poland made a joint call for a European-wide energy union that would help reduce dependence on Russian gas supplies. READ () »

Family pretend to be French to rob jewellers
Pretending to be French to rob a jewellers. That's a new one. Photo: Shutterstock

Family pretend to be French to rob jewellers

A family managed to steal €180,000 worth of jewellery from a plush shop in Milan’s Piazza del Duomo. Their modus operandi: pretending to be French to give off an air of sophistication. READ () »

Neo-Nazi Hitler party shocks French village
Scores of neo-Nazis descended on a tranquil French village. The local mayor had no idea what he had let himself in for. Photo: Scott Olsen/AFP

Neo-Nazi Hitler party shocks French village

The mayor of a small village in eastern France was forced to explain this week how he ended up giving the green light for a neo-Nazi party commemorating the 125th anniversiary of Hitler’s birth. The mayor said he presumed it was just going to be an ordinary birthday party. READ () »

One in five French workers is a civil servant
France's population of civil servants has continued to grow. Photo: Crowd.

One in five French workers is a civil servant

New data out this week shows France’s civil service has continued its nearly unbroken chain of growth since 1980. The figures, however, leave out a whole swath of people who are also on the government payroll. READ () »

French taxi wars: New plan to end bitter feud
A new proposal seeks to end the French taxi war. Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

French taxi wars: New plan to end bitter feud

An eagerly awaited series of proposed reforms were due out on Thursday aimed at ending the ongoing war between highly regulated taxi drivers and private hire car firms, which has wrought havoc on French roads. The proposals seek to make the rules fairer for both sides. READ () »

Ukraine crisis
France to send fighter jets to patrol Baltics
France is to send four fighter jets to patrol over the Baltics, in a show of solidarity as tension mounts of Russia's agression i nthe Ukraine. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP

France to send fighter jets to patrol Baltics

France is sending four of its fighter jets to patrol over the Baltic states in a symbolic show of solidarity amid growing anxiety in the region over Russia's intervention in Ukraine. President François Hollande is also set to pay a visit to Georgia in the coming weeks. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
The view from La Rue: Are Parisians really that rude to tourists?
National
How to avoid a French wedding nightmare
Opinion
Reader Rants: Why sacked French ministers deserve no pity
Gallery
How well do you know your French text message lingo?
National
Divorced from reality? French plan for puppy custody laws
Travel
'Burgundy is for wine not wind': Will wind farms ruin famous wine region?
National
Why does France have a record number of people behind bars?
Society
VIDEO: Take a look inside Paris’s first luxury hotel for cats
Education
French parents are the most laidback about their kids' education. True?
Tech
What do French TV viewers complain about the most? Yes it's English
Business & Money
French tax declarations: The key points to remember
Gallery
French slang: Everyday words you need to know (but use cautiously)
Advertisement:
National
Paris cops told to ‘purge’ Roma from posh neighbourhood
International
VIDEO: ‘Anti-French’ Cadillac ad sparks anger in France. See why.
Features
Buying property in France? Here's 10 things you need to think about
National
What will the future map of France look like? The answer lies within.
Politics
'The 27 French regions aren't the problem, it's the 36,000 towns'
Culture
Ex underage call girl Zahia picked to embody Marie Antoinette
Gallery
Buying a house in France? Ten things you need to think about
National
France bans work emails after 6pm! Sadly it's not quite true.
Opinion
Reader Rants: Why don't the French do charity? Is it down to taxes?
Society
VIDEO: The Paris zoo is back but this time the animals are in charge
National
This will be the most expensive road in France - Only €1.66bn for 12km!
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se