Air France-KLM’s new CEO Jean March Janaillac has presented a project of creating a new subsidiary next to Transavia. “Project Boost” will help maintain and grow Air France’s presence on long-haul routes and operate profitably on some routes that are currently making losses.
According to the Air France CEO, the future carrier – whose codename is “Boost”- is expected to start operations in mid-2017 with a mixed fleet of a dozen aircraft on a future medium and long haul network.
The new carrier is here to turn the wheel for Air France which has been losing market share in long-haul traffic due mostly to strong competition from Gulf carriers on long haul routes, especially to Southern Africa and Asia. “We need to preserve our long-haul network as a global airline and operate profitably in ultra-competitive markets”, explains Janaillac.
The company is set to operate with lower costs and help growing the long-haul network between 2 and 3% per year until 2020. The future hybrid carrier would mostly serve medium haul routes in Africa and the Mediterranean/Gulf area but also operate to India, Southeast Asia (Bangkok) and possibly to some North American destinations. “It could also help us to expand again on some routes such as to Kuala Lumpur for example”, says Janaillac.
“Boost” would first fly Airbus A340 aircraft (pictured) before putting in service fuel-efficient Airbus A350s. The airline would also largely look at becoming an innovative carrier implementing the latest digital technologies in service or innovations such as berths in economy class. . Notably by offering new product like the possibility of berths in economy class. “We want to offer a cost competitive product without sacrificing Air France guarantee for quality, “added Air France CEO.
Boost will concentrate its activity at Paris Charles de Gaulle to strengthen the hub function of the airport while other subsidiaries HOP and Transavia will continue to develop their activity out of Orly airport and in French regions.
Photo source – Flickr: Air France Airbus A340-300 F-GLZC