Monday, 5 December 2011

Air France in budget flight fight back

Air France have announced that they are to launch 16 new routes from Toulouse from April 2012. The new routes will see the national carrier fly to destinations such as Berlin, Prague and Vienna in an attempt to fend off and capture easyJet's market.

The 16 new routes will create 28 in total from Toulouse. The move marks further progress after the airline set up a hub in Marseille and a further six routes from Nice.

Air France hope that the new hubs will contribute an estimated €950 in sales in 2012. Commenting on the move, Chief Executive Officer Alexandre de Juniac said 'The idea is to add the best practices of low-cost carriers, with the full services of Air France and attractive fares.'

This investment is in contrast to airlines cost cutting measures that are currently taking place. These cost cutting measures include refurbishing business-class cabins in the Boeing 777 fleet rather than new aircraft. They also
plan to utilise Airbus SAS A320 aircraft in Toulouse which can fly for 11hrs 30 minutes a day compared with being used for 8 hours and 15 minutes whilst in paris.

The airline's low cost traffic accounts for around 24% of the national market which is around half of similar operators in Germany and Spain. The ploy by Air France will be an attempt to replicate Germanwings and Vueling SA. However, It looks as though Air France could be in for a battle as easyJet have also announced that they are to dedicate two Airbus A319 planes to its bases in Toulouse and Nice.

Look's like their will be plenty of choice!

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