It seems airlines are in the mood to set up airlines within airlines, with Air France-KLM group setting up a new subairline called “Hop!”
Hop combines the Regional Services offered by Brit Air, Regional and Airlinair under one banner with a jaunty exclamation mark, operating 530 daily flights, serving 104 destinations (32 destinations for Air France) with a fleet of 98 aircraft.
This covers a lot of the French Domestic map from Paris-Orly, as well as the regional bases of Marseilles, Nice and Toulouse.
Onto the renderings.
Hop! Bombardier CRJ – Rendering – Air France
Hop! Embarer E-170- Rendering – Air France
Hop! ATR – Rendering – Air France
Well, it’s a different use of the Air France colour scheme. With exclamation marks everywhere.
Fares will be offered on the Basic Fare (you get the seat, no luggage, no miles) to Basic Plus (offering seat, 1 checked bag and miles) to Maxi-Flex (where you get flexibility to change your ticket, as well as miles and double luggage). There’s also a student option too.
Fares will start at €55 upwards on Hop! services for a Basic fare.
Hop! will commence operations on the 31st March 2013, with tickets bookable now via Air France and Hop.fr
The strategy that Air France is going down is akin to what Lufthansa is doing to GermanWings, by taking non-hub traffic to a subisudary that they hope will be a lower cost base to operate. Where as GermanWings are going with the big A319/A320’s initially, Hop! will be using the existing regional jet fleet the airlines have.
Will a sub-airline work? I’m not sure as the sub-airline could cannibalise traffic from the mainline service. Both Germanwings and Air France have tossed their ideas into the pool.
Lets see if they work.