Air France is consolidating its three regional carriers starting in March under the “HOP!” brand. Air France will continue to operate its own short and mediumhaul network feeding the long haul operations at the Charles de Gaulle hub, routes that have high portion of business travelers, and flights from regional bases in Marseille, Toulouse, and Nice.
HOP! Route structure
The HOP! will operate 530 daily flights using 98 aircraft with a seating capacity of 48 to 100. The airline will serve 104 HOP! destinations and another 32 destinations on behalf of Air France.
HOP! Fare structure
The most basic fare doesn’t come with miles or checked in baggage. Paying 5 euros for 250 Flying Blue miles makes no sense.
HOP! customers can earn miles on Air France-KLM’s Flying Blue program. It is unlikely that earning is possible on other SkyTeam frequent flier programs.
Lufthansa just moved all of its European flying that doesn’t touch Munich or Frankfurt to Germanwings subsidiary. Air Canada launched Rouge to serve its leisure destinations. United Airlines had Ted and Delta Air Lines had Song that were both rather short lived discount carrier in the United States.
The airline world has quite a few not so successful launches of discount carriers that are formed from the legacies. Only time will tell, if Air France’s HOP! is success of failure.