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Air France's new carrier could offer fares up to 20% cheaper.

Jess McHugh
May 23, 2017

Air France is planning to launch a new, lower-cost carrier by the winter of 2017, with long-haul flights arriving by the summer of 2018.

Fares will be nearly 20 percent lower than those on Air France, and flights will connect to international hubs in Europe and around the world. While the fares may be lower, the company is emphasizing it will not be a low-cost airline, such as Ryanair or easyJet.

“It will not be positioned as a low-cost carrier. It will have standards similar to Air France,” the airline group said in the fall when the plan was first announced, Reuters reported.

The project called Boost — the name of the carrier has not yet been announced — plans to operate 28 aircraft by 2020, with 10 long-haul and 18 medium-haul planes, Air France CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac said. All planes will be equipped with Wi-Fi.

Routes will serve destinations that had previous low profits, including several cities in southeast Asia, according to Air Transportation World.

“The status quo is not an option. We must launch a new dynamic to return to a leadership position in our markets,” Janaillac said at the time of the initial announcement.

Air France first announced the new carrier in November 2016 in an effort to combat losses over the rise of Gulf carriers. Air France, along with other European and U.S. carriers, have accused the Gulf carriers of benefiting from government subsidies, effectively making other carriers non-competitive in the regions where they both fly.

Air France has also seen losses over several workers' strikes and will face a difficult negotiation for Boost. The new carrier will use the same Air France pilots, but will require them to work longer hours and to move, at least temporarily.

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