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Air France to launch new airline to battle Gulf rivals

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Air France to launch new airline to battle Gulf rivals
Photo: AFP
10:25 CET+01:00
Air France-KLM announced on Thursday plans to "regain the offensive", which included the launch of a new airline.
The battle for the skies has forced Air France to make a bold new move.
 
Air France-KLM has announced a huge new strategic push - named Trust Together - which its CEO has called "both ambitious and realistic". 
 
Part of the push involves the launch of a brand new airline- as yet unnamed - that will offer a mix of operations on new routes, routes under threat, and routes that have previously been closed for their lack of profitability. 
 
While the exact routes (and ticket costs) for the new company remain a mystery, the airline said that it aimed to have 10 long-haul aircraft in operation by 2020, with 30 percent of operations focused on newly created routes. 
 
The new company is planned to boost growth for the Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport, the company added.
 
The airline said the move was a response to the Gulf State airlines which are currently offering low cost alternatives to key markets where Air France-KLM is pursuing growth ambition. 
 
But don't get too excited just yet, it appears flights on the new airline might not be cheap. 
 
The airline said in a statement that the new company would give a "simple, modern, and innovative offer, whose positioning will not be low cost", comparing the standards to those existing at Air France already. 
 
Other measures in the new strategic push include an improved efficiency and connectivity at Charles de Gaulle, working more closely with the air freight market, more personalized customer experiences thanks to Big Data, and even new uniforms for Air France workers over the next few years. 
 
Air France also runs low cost airlines Hop! and Transavia.
 
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