Another Airline Newcomer

The Air France-KLM Group is set to launch a new lower-cost airline by the end of this year. Since the Group indicated plans last year to launch a new subsidiary with lower operational costs, it has been working on the project under the name Boost. A name for the new carrier has not yet been announced, but the operation will use Air France aircraft and pilots. Air France-KLM Group Chairman Jean-Marc Janaillac, speaking during a recent investor day, said the new carrier will be based at Paris Charles de Gaulle and will initially operate five A320s before an expansion into long-haul services in 2018. Reports say the plan is for the airline to operate 28 aircraft by 2020. Airbus A340s transferred from the Air France mainline fleet could be used as they will become available with the deliveries of more Boeing 787s and 21 A350s from 2019. This is just the latest example of the trend for network airlines to set up new lower-cost operations after the International Airlines Group set up Level, which has just started flying, and Air Canada started Rouge. It is a further reflection on the impact low-cost longhaul airlines are having on the air travel market.