January 04, 2013
Air France on Monday will unveil a new pricing and service structure on flights at four key domestic airports as the carrier continues to remodel its short-haul non-hub operations.
This revamp, which will be applied to three provincial bases and operations at Paris Orly Airport, will include unbundled fares and ancillary fees for food and baggage services.
The new fare structure will exist parallel to Air France’s traditional full-service options, and will be tested on domestic and European routes from the carrier’s bases at Marseille, Nice and Toulouse, as well as Paris Orly.
Air France’s hybridization of its loss-making, non-hub short-haul operation is part of the airline’s effort to defend against the growth of low-cost carriers in its home market.
The strategy created the three provincial bases, with Nice and Toulouse opening in spring 2011 and Marseille that fall.
This latest strategic move mirrors Lufthansa’s recent decision to merge all its short-haul, non-hub flights into its low-cost unit Germanwings and reposition the operation as a value carrier with an “a la carte” service and fare concept.
The three provincial bases are performing well, but their profitability is below target, an Air France spokesperson tells Aviation Week.
The spokesperson also denies recent reports that Air France intends to close the three bases.