• France's news in English
 

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

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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Top French civil servant quits over €40k taxi bills
Agnés Saal, who has been forced to quit amid revelations she racked up €40,000 worth of taxi bills, with the help of her son. Photo: AFP

Top French civil servant quits over €40k taxi bills

A top French civil servant has resigned on Tuesday after mounting calls for her to step down over a scandal that saw her build up €40,000 worth of taxi bills in just ten months (with the help of her son). And that's even though she had her own chauffeur driven company car as well. READ  

French consumer morale the highest in five years
Consumer confidence is on the rise in France. Photo: AFP

French consumer morale the highest in five years

France may be depicted as all doom and gloom but the French are at a five-year high when it comes to consumer confidence, the country's statistics agency said on Tuesday, showing that households feel more optimistic about the country's economy. READ  

French spiderman scales Paris tower for Nepal
French "Spiderman" Alain Robert on Tuesday climbed up the highest building in Paris. Photo: AFP

French spiderman scales Paris tower for Nepal

French "Spiderman" Alain Robert on Tuesday climbed up the highest building in Paris with a Nepalese flag in hand, in tribute to the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit the country. READ  

French rail service among best in Europe
Commuters wait for a train in Paris. Photo: AFP

French rail service among best in Europe

France has been commended for the quality of its rail service, which has been ranked as the fourth best in Europe, a new US study has revealed. It's a result that might leave many regular rail users in the country perplexed. READ  

France bids to buy Europe's biggest dune
Europe's biggest sand dune the Dune at Pyla attracts nearly two million visitors and thrill seekers a year. Photo: Pierre Rennes/Flickr

France bids to buy Europe's biggest dune

The spectacular dune of Pyla on the coast of south western France has attracted millions of tourists over the years but the problem for the French state is that it doesn't own it outright. That should soon change. READ  

France to probe Le Pen's 'hidden €2.2 million'
Did Jean-Marie Le Pen, the founder of the National Front, stash millions away in a Swiss bank account? Photo: AFP

France to probe Le Pen's 'hidden €2.2 million'

UPDATED: Jean-Marie Le Pen, the elderly founder and former chief of France's far-right Front National, hid €2.2 million ($2.4 million) in a secret account in Switzerland, investigative news website Mediapart reported Monday. French authorities have launched a probe. READ  

France to roll out volunteer military service
President Hollande speaks with military volunteers at the French overseas island of Mayotte. Photo: AFP

France to roll out volunteer military service

France's President Francois Hollande has announced a new volunteer military service for marginalized youths, in a bid to help them increase their employment potential. Participants will learn basic skills such as punctuality and politeness. READ  

PSG insist Ibrahimovic will not leave club

PSG insist Ibrahimovic will not leave club

Star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will not be leaving PSG in the summer, the club's Qatari owners vowed on Tuesday as speculation continues to surround the future of the giant Swede. READ  

ONLY IN FRANCE
Naked comedian shocks French culture minister
Comedian Sébastian Thiéry takes the culture minister to task. Photo: France 2

Naked comedian shocks French culture minister

French comedian Sébastien Thiéry stole the show at France's most prestigious theatre award ceremony on Monday night when he came onto the stage naked to give the embarrassed Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin a dressing down of her own. READ  

French minister holds on to crown of Twitter king
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius poses for a selfie with some members of the public. Photo: AFP

French minister holds on to crown of Twitter king

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has held on to his crown as the world's most connected foreign minister on Twitter, an annual study on world leaders tweeting habits has revealed. But when it comes to followers, President François Hollande lags well behind his peers. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
International
The French don't seem to care about the UK election and that's normal
France may produce the most wine, but who drinks the most?
National
Why do the French have such a sorry record for recycling?
Row over 7Up could mean French language enforced on all flights to Canada
Culture
Take a peek inside France's newest, but oldest tourist attraction
National
How to disguise the fact you are clearly not French
France desperately hunts for church terror plot accomplices
Can France really protect 4,500 churches around the country?
WARNING - When in France use first names with caution
So what does the world's oldest bubbly taste like?
British expats left in lurch by NHS clampdown
Tossing cigarette butts in Paris to prompt €68 fines
Culture
Cannes Film Festival reveals jury
Flamanville: France's nuclear 'calamity' that has the UK worried
Features
Forget the Mona Lisa, here's the weirdest objects you can see around Paris
For many Britons 'Waterloo' is just an Abba song or a train station
IN PICTURES: See the French ship 'Hermione' set sail again for the US
Opinion
Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?
National
Sexual harassment rife on Paris trains
National
Marine Le Pen makes Time 'most influential' list
Cannes Film Festival line-up revealed
National
Cartoonist's book slams 'Islamophobia swindlers'
National
More French women than men lured by Isis
Society
Les Entrepreneurs: We chat with the founder of Paris Picnic
National
Edith Piaf celebrated at Parisian exhibit
How the health reforms will change life in France
Gallery
Naked protests: The French love to take their clothes off to make a point
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Then and now - the site of the Alps plane crash
Travel
So why would anyone really want to live in Lille?
Opinion
Why the French should be very worried about new spying powers
National
Spain's newest export to France: Vultures
Did a row over stolen veg lead to the murder of a British expat in France?
VIDEO: French rail chiefs SNCF furious after the Paris-Roubaix race
Sport
What the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris would look like
Culture
IN PICS: Take a look inside France's new 36,000 year-old tourist site
International
Did the Pope reject France's envoy to the Vatican because he was gay?
Cyberjihad: Hacking of French TV channel was 'a step up'
Politics
PROFILE: Jean-Marie Le Pen - France's far-right master provocateur
National
France's fatigued 'anti-terror' police resort to calling sick
National
Dipping baguette in a bowl of coffee! - French habits foreigners don't get
Strike latest: Scores of flights cancelled in France
Features
New Calais migrant camp 'the worst in Europe'
Society
ASK THE EXPERTS: So why are the French always on strike?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

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 Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

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

?>