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"Air France Express" To Fight Easyjet, RyanAir?  
User currently offlinekeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14515 times:

Air France is considering a low cost operation to fight Easyjet and Ryanair domestically.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100902..._afp/franceairlinecompanyairfrance

Local bases, aircraft and crews doing local operations.

35 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinedutchflyboi From Netherlands, joined Apr 2008, 333 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 14334 times:

Doesn't really make sense. They have Transavia for this. Take a look at their flights from France:
http://www.transavia.com/hv/fr-FR/destinations


User currently offlineCRJ900 From Norway, joined Jun 2004, 2177 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 14191 times:
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Perhaps they should use the upcoming Brit Air CRJ1000 aircraft... less risk with using new fuel-efficient 100-seaters to start the venture off and if successful they can shift to A320 or B738 and use the CRJ1000 as a feeder for mainline again.


Come, fly the prevailing winds with me
User currently offlineTalaier From Spain, joined May 2008, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 14176 times:

Quoting dutchflyboi (Reply 1):
Doesn't really make sense. They have Transavia for this. Take a look at their flights from France:
http://www.transavia.com/hv/fr-FR/destinations

But transavia lacks the strength of the AF brand. It's ok for holidaymakers but if you want to turn "La Navette" low cost or you are expecting connecting pax from long-haul to experience a similar product, you need consistency with the overall AF product. Sounds very similar to what IB is planning on doing in Spain should trade unions reject a pay cut.

AF survives within France thanks to its de-facto monopoly on air transportation, dominance that of course will be hijacked as soon as U2 and FR become bigger and bigger. Just look to what happened south of the Pyrenees and you get a pretty accurate picture of the French domestic market in 2-3 years' time.


User currently offlineaircellist From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1718 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 13442 times:

AF should have kept Air Inter...

User currently offlineFlySSC From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 7410 posts, RR: 57
Reply 5, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 13316 times:

Quoting aircellist (Reply 4):
AF should have kept Air Inter...

  

Air Inter was a real "pioneer" and a LCC well before Ryanair/EasyJet ...
It was a reliable, profitable and VERY efficient airline with a light structure, efficient and well trained staff, low operational costs, etc ...
Too bad that AF with its "hegemonic" tendencies did not take more "lessons" about Air Inter procedures and concept.

For those who want to know more about Air Inter :

http://www.airliners.net/aviation-fo...general_aviation/read.main/1841380


User currently offlinePEET7G From Hungary, joined Jan 2007, 695 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 13242 times:

Quoting aircellist (Reply 4):
AF should have kept Air Inter...

I got to agree... After revitalizing the brand Air Inter should have become what Germanwings is for Lufthansa. I find LH strategy with 4U simply genius and very effective of keeping FR and U2 out of Germany, or at least minimize their impact.



Peet7G
User currently offlineIcarus75 From France, joined Oct 2003, 797 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 13210 times:

I agree with FlySSC!
Between 1983 & 1987, I've flown the ORY-PGF-ORY route almost every week-ends.
On fridays, the last flight ORY-PGF (95% with Mercure was always packed)
On sundays, the last flight PGF-ORY (95% with Airbus A300 was always packed)
If I remember well, the averag flights per days was 5 round trips.
During holidays at pick days, it was sometimes 10 flights a day, full all the time.
The pricing system red-white-blue (from more expensive to cheaper) was really nice and during all the flights, you were given a free drink.

Then, Air Inter disappear ed and after a while, AF stopped the line (not prfitable)
AOM & AirLib Express filled the gap and suddenly, AF flown again the line.(Profitable again?)

Now, we only have AF and it is sometimes a joke : very high prices, cancelled flights......



Flying is amazing!
User currently offlineapodino From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 4261 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 13203 times:

I know this is a slightly different market on this side of the pond, but Air France might want to take a look at Ted, Metrojet, Delta Express, Song, and Continental Lite and see how they fared before trying something like this.

User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 13131 times:

Quoting Icarus75 (Reply 7):
I agree with FlySSC!
Between 1983 & 1987, I've flown the ORY-PGF-ORY route almost every week-ends.
On fridays, the last flight ORY-PGF (95% with Mercure was always packed)
On sundays, the last flight PGF-ORY (95% with Airbus A300 was always packed)
If I remember well, the averag flights per days was 5 round trips.
During holidays at pick days, it was sometimes 10 flights a day, full all the time.
The pricing system red-white-blue (from more expensive to cheaper) was really nice and during all the flights, you were given a free drink.

I could never figure why AF suddenly dropped the route in common with Icarus75 whenever I flew the route it was always packed whether it was an A300 or on a couple of occaisions an A330-300 - and they managed to give eneryone a couple of drinks and a small snack!


User currently offlineanstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5188 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 12942 times:

Quoting Talaier (Reply 3):
But transavia lacks the strength of the AF brand. It's ok for holidaymakers but if you want to turn "La Navette" low cost or you are expecting connecting pax from long-haul to experience a similar product, you need consistency with the overall AF product

That is one way to cannibalise AF flights.

This should be a move to fight EZY and FR... if it is, then Transavia would be a suitable vehicle. It doesn't need to be "french" FR and EZY are not which is the market they should be fighting.


User currently offlineoffloaded From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2009, 872 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 12205 times:

Like BA should have done with Go.

Transavia could be "upgraded" again, and in some ways it as been since the failed Basiqair effort. HV used to interline with KL, and HV routes used to feed KL traffic with thru-fares eg AGP AMS NYC. I think they stopped it in around 2003. Now you need to buy AGP AMS and AMS NYC as 2 different tickets, or MAD AMS NYC on KL metal. Now more than ever it would made sense to use HV to feed KL and AF and fight U2 and FR.



To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215
User currently offlineSevernaya From Russia, joined Jan 2009, 1402 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 12071 times:

Quoting keesje (Thread starter):
Air France is considering a low cost operation to fight Easyjet and Ryanair domestically.

Oh no! How many of these low-cost vehicles of legacies have we seen over the past years and how many still exist? One I can think off that has been profitable, but only slightly is Germanwings.

I wish them all luck, but i fear the Spanish & UK domestic market reflect good how the French domestic market will look like in some years.



Всяк глядит, да не всяк видит.
User currently offlinegiosetti From Germany, joined May 2007, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 11851 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 5):
The pricing system red-white-blue (from more expensive to cheaper)
Quoting Icarus75 (Reply 7):
Air Inter was a real "pioneer" and a LCC well before Ryanair/EasyJet ...
It was a reliable, profitable and VERY efficient airline with a light structure, efficient and well trained staff, low operational costs, etc ...

I second that. At the mid 80ies I was a student at Freiburg, Germany. I frequently went to Paris as I studied French. The "vols bleus" were the most economic way to go there (ORY) via SXB or MLH. The price was then 210 FFr which equals 45 EUR. The A300 or Caravelle were always packed, the flights were reliable and "sympa". I regret Air Inter was given up by AF.

[Edited 2010-09-03 03:05:18]


I play all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order
User currently offlinebthebest From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2008, 506 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 10989 times:

When they mean low cost local ops, do they mean low cost AF Europe or low cost AF Regional?

Transavia wouldn't in any way cover a low cost Regional.


User currently offlineACdreamliner From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 517 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10877 times:

Quoting apodino (Reply 8):
I know this is a slightly different market on this side of the pond, but Air France might want to take a look at Ted, Metrojet, Delta Express, Song, and Continental Lite and see how they fared before trying something like this.

Things work differently over here. Our LCC's seem to offer comparable service with your legacy carriers Y service now. So the brand's of Song, CO Light, DL Express etc were in a way a distraction and an excuse to pay people less than a wholly new concept in transport. Over here we have a few examples of legacy carriers have got relatively successful spin off carriers. Lufthansa has GermanWings, bmi has BMIBABY (arguable success but its held its own for a good few years now).

On the new side of the pond there are various degree's of opinion about Air Canada's spin off carriers Tango and Zip. You could argue, with merit, that they failed. But who knows how much they held off WestJet and JetsGone, I mean Go. We may never know.

So as far as AF is concerned, I think it's a good idea to set up a new LCC. Perhaps Air Inter would be the brand and the could do a whole 'out of the ashes' sort of theme and play on the brand of old, which judging by the trend was a popular brand.

It has to be a totally separate airline I feel though. For example, BMIBABY when totally independent of BMI (as far as route network was concerned) was a much stronger airline IMHO. Now the brand is blurred with baby seats available of BD routes, but as far as im aware not the other way around.

If I had a day at the top of BD... Well thats another story...



Where are you going?
User currently offlineaerokiwi From New Zealand, joined Jul 2000, 2688 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 10804 times:

Was Air Inter ever profitable? From memory it was a bit of a basket-case financially.

Perhaps Air France could start by entering the modern age of international air travel and offer one-way fares half that of return fares, the ability to book return flights from cities other than the one you arrive at and provide a user-friendly frequent flyer programme rather than the infuriating mess they have now.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what their selling-point is for short haul trips both domestically and around Europe. Domestic France will be predominantly served by rail within a decade or so anyway.


User currently offlineaircellist From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1718 posts, RR: 8
Reply 17, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9568 times:

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 5):
Air Inter was a real "pioneer" and a LCC well before Ryanair/EasyJet ...
It was a reliable, profitable and VERY efficient airline with a light structure, efficient and well trained staff, low operational costs, etc ...
Too bad that AF with its "hegemonic" tendencies did not take more "lessons" about Air Inter procedures and concept.

To this day, Air Inter is the airline on which I flew the most... Air passes were sold in Canada and boy! did I enjoy them!


User currently offlinepeanuts From Netherlands, joined Dec 2009, 1438 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9543 times:

Quoting ACdreamliner (Reply 15):
So the brand's of Song, CO Light, DL Express etc were in a way a distraction and an excuse to pay people less than a wholly new concept in transport.

Actually, this is exactly what AF is trying to do. There is more similarity than you may think. AF is talking to the unions to get their blessing.
It starts "domestically". Trust me: at some point AF will see the need to expand their plan to certain destinations outside of France in order to compete "effectively".

Quoting apodino (Reply 8):
I know this is a slightly different market on this side of the pond, but Air France might want to take a look at Ted, Metrojet, Delta Express, Song, and Continental Lite and see how they fared before trying something like this.

It is a different market yet history may repeat itself.

I thought AF's domestic competitor was TGV?

The LCC's in Europe are doing the exact same thing to the Euro legacies the US LCC's did to theirs. In a race for the bottom. Some of our a.netters in Europe are in for a rude awakening in the next five years when it comes to "their" legacies.



Question Conventional Wisdom. While not all commonly held beliefs are wrong…all should be questioned.
User currently offlineORDFan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 346 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 9095 times:

Quoting dutchflyboi (Reply 1):
Doesn't really make sense. They have Transavia for this. Take a look at their flights from France:

That route network doesn't look very complete: all of Central and Eastern Europe are completely left off, not to mention popular holiday destinations like the Italian mainland, Croatia, and Greece. Will this new Air France Express be focused strictly on the French, domestic market? If so, how will it be truly competitive with Ryanair and Easyjet, which offer flights throughout the continent?


User currently offlineSR4ever From Luxembourg, joined Mar 2010, 800 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 8441 times:

Quoting Talaier (Reply 3):
you want to turn "La Navette" low cost

I don't think it would be a good idea. Shuttle AF flights offer good flexibility, which is likely to be lost if U2 or FR methods are introduced there.

Conversely, I think a genuine Business Class on La Navette, decently priced, would be a good tool against TGV.

Quoting Talaier (Reply 3):
you are expecting connecting pax from long-haul to experience a similar product

Agreed. AF would shoot itself in the foot if CDG-hubbing shorter flights went no-frills.

Quoting Talaier (Reply 3):
U2 and FR become bigger and bigger

FR is no direct competitor of AF.

U2 is more worrying.

But in both cases, AF could go to court to have some of their most misleading ads corrected.

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 5):
Air Inter was a real "pioneer" and a LCC well before Ryanair/EasyJet ...
It was a reliable, profitable and VERY efficient airline with a light structure, efficient and well trained staff, low operational costs, etc ...

IT was a relatively low-fare airline, but not so low-cost on the operations side. Pilots were among the best paid in the world. Cost structure was kept at a decent level thqnks to those high-density AB2s operated with short turnaround times. ( less that 30min).

IT also had the freedom to pass too lower-volume lines to "3rd-level" carriers such as FU and IJ.

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 5):
Too bad that AF with its "hegemonic" tendencies did not take more "lessons" about Air Inter procedures and concept.

Mind you, in 1994-1995, AF eyed spinning off the whole of its domestic and european flights, as well as all of those of IT, into a new subsidiary, with a lower cost base than AF (using IT structures and know-how), yet with a broader product range than IT. The new "Euro AF" would have started operations on 01/04/1997.

What made AF backpedal in 1995 was constant, hatred industrial action at IT, which led AF reach the decision that IT had to be tamed and thence to wounded up and absorbed.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 9):

I could never figure why AF suddenly dropped the route in common with Icarus75 whenever I flew the route it was always packed whether it was an A300 or on a couple of occaisions an A330-300

ORY-PGF was dropped by AF in 1996, wo as to release slots in ORY which were needed to start Shuttle services to TLS/MRS/NCE. The same occured in TLN.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 9):
and they managed to give eneryone a couple of drinks and a small snack!

Disagreed. IT had a very spartan service. Only those with Season Tickets of flying full fare were offered something. Only in 1996 they started adding a few frills.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 16):
Was Air Inter ever profitable? From memory it was a bit of a basket-case financially.

IT was profitable until the early-90s, but thereafter cumulated rising losses.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 16):
offer one-way fares half that of return fares, the ability to book return flights from cities other than the one you arrive at and provide a user-friendly frequent flyer programme rather than the infuriating mess they have now.

It would be a good move indeed. And create a truly LCC class, with only soft drinks. No more snacks and newspapers.

Quoting aerokiwi (Reply 16):
Domestic France will be predominantly served by rail within a decade or so anyway.

Not everywhere, and on condition that SNCF truly discovers that there is alos a market on cross-country lines off-Paris


User currently offlineTalaier From Spain, joined May 2008, 490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 7610 times:

Quoting SR4ever (Reply 20):
Agreed. AF would shoot itself in the foot if CDG-hubbing shorter flights went no-frills.

IB offers no-frills hubbing flights from MAD (under 3 hours), and has been doing so for quite some time, and people keep on flying them. Once pax get used to it, it's fine, especially given the fact that in 5 years time we can expect most intra-European flights (under 2.5-3 hrs) to be pretty much no frills throughout all carriers. I mean BA has gone down from a sandwich to a cookie in economy, which is hardly anything better than a no-frills service.

Quoting SR4ever (Reply 20):

FR is no direct competitor of AF.

U2 is more worrying.

But in both cases, AF could go to court to have some of their most misleading ads corrected.

That's what IB thought and it has already retired completely from cash-cows such as the huge MAD-PMI market and left its high frequency flights to Air Nostrum to be operated in CRJs. FR destroyed the market when it entered a year ago, and that has happened throughout every single point-to-point market intra-Spain. The only flights that keep on going are mainland Spain-Canary Islands, largely due to massive cargo revenues that FR and U2 do not take advantage of. Other than that, IB has been kicked out of pretty much everywhere else and has been forced to reduced substantially the amount of seats it offers.

The same goes for JK and UX, the other two big legacy carriers that offered a full service before the LCC model broke in.

Quoting SR4ever (Reply 20):
I don't think it would be a good idea. Shuttle AF flights offer good flexibility, which is likely to be lost if U2 or FR methods are introduced there.

Conversely, I think a genuine Business Class on La Navette, decently priced, would be a good tool against TGV.

I'm thinking more of no-frills on the crew/cost side rather than the product side. As long as you keep your cost base competitive, you can keep the product as good as you want it to be.


User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8329 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 7215 times:
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Hasn't Air France been there before, Air Inter was the domestic French airline. France put all its airline eggs under Air France, why? The UK, Holland and Germany didn't put all there airlines under one umbrella.

User currently offlineIcarus75 From France, joined Oct 2003, 797 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6409 times:

Quoting SR4ever (Reply 20):
Disagreed. IT had a very spartan service. Only those with Season Tickets of flying full fare were offered something. Only in 1996 they started adding a few frills.

Wrong on this.Whatever the fare you were paying, you did have complementary drink!!!!!



Flying is amazing!
User currently offlineSR4ever From Luxembourg, joined Mar 2010, 800 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (3 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6405 times:

Quoting Talaier (Reply 21):
Once pax get used to it, it's fine, especially given the fact that in 5 years time we can expect most intra-European flights (under 2.5-3 hrs) to be pretty much no frills throughout all carriers.

Maybe.

But hubbing is already a good, big frill compared to point-to-point LCC flights...

Quoting Talaier (Reply 21):
I mean BA has gone down from a sandwich to a cookie in economy, which is hardly anything better than a no-frills service.

Agreed.

While I advocate a genuine low-fare+low-cost Y class with no frills (save soft drinks)at the back of the aircraft on European lines operated by legacies, I think the counterpart should be a genuine Y+ and a genuine C class on those flights. That would keep yields at a decent level, and offer a broader choice to the consumer.

Quoting Talaier (Reply 21):
I'm thinking more of no-frills on the crew/cost side rather than the product side. As long as you keep your cost base competitive, you can keep the product as good as you want it to be.

What AF could do on its European network, rather than create a competing AF Express could be:

- hive down all european + north african flights to a new subsidiary with a lighter structure
- offer a genuine no-frills Y class (just soft drinks, no more snacks/newspapers) and enhance C class.
- restrict Y- fares to internet only, with no staffed check-in (reserved to Y+ and C only)
- Maybe cut baggage allowance from 23 down to 20 or 15kg in Y- class (not applicable to those passengers connecting with//from longhaul flights)
- move the geographic base of part of the flying staff away from Paris, and restrict overnight stays from home
- keep the current on-board staffing, yet giving them a few more tasks to do (quick cleaning upon turnaround)
- upgauge flights (more 320s and 321s, less 318s and 319s, more 319s and less CRJ/1F00/F70 and maybe some 332s/333s on bigger routes such as PAR-TLS/MRS/NCE/BCN/MAD/PMI/AGP/ATH/FCO/MXP/ALG or LHR-NCE)
- offer all fares on a one-way basis
- cut a bit turnaround times at airports when there is no hubbing


25 SR4ever : Only from 1986 or 1987
26 Post contains images FlySSC : Sorry to say that both of you are wrong, guys ... !!! Until April 30th 1988 : All drinks were charged 10 French Francs (FF) for a soft drink, 15 FF f
27 Cuban8 : If I remember correctly, Air France will soon have it's own TGV trains to feed traffic to CDG and reinforce its position within the domestic routes.
28 Post contains links Btriple7 : I paid a quick visit to Air France's corporate website and found this. I don't have anything to add myself; I just thought this would be something int
29 icna05e : That was ditched about a year ago. but they hould be starting to gather quite a lot of experience with rail interlining since their BRU route is trai
30 SR4ever : Not ditched. Just postponed.
31 Post contains images shamrock604 : I dont doubt that, and its the same for most nationalities, but that doesnt hold true if the "roast beef" airline or the "bacon and cabbage" airline
32 brilondon : Are you MOL? Seriously, I don''t think that France needs the crappy no frills cheap get what you pay for type of travel. They already have AF.
33 aircellist : Perrier was free, as was "Le Canard enchaîné" and every other French newspaper.
34 Post contains images SR4ever : Britair, Regional and City Jet are a bit too specialised, and operate smaller aircrafts. No I m not, obviously Even after taking those steps which I
35 r2rho : What AF is talking about is similar to what IB has hinted towards lately. Create a lower cost-base "AF Light" for domestic and EU short-haul, integrat
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