A new budget carrier dubbed Air France Express is under consideration by Air France-KLM, according to reports.
The European airline group is weighing up the possibility of creating a lowcost domestic carrier to meet intense competition in the French market from budget rivals.
Company sources were quoted as saying the start-up could be established next year with bases in the southern cities of Marseille, Nice and Toulouse if agreement can be reached with unions.
Air France-KLM was aiming to achieve cost savings and allow greater flexibility by moving some services away from its main hub at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle in Paris, reports suggested.
“Studies are underway to find some way to fight off the lowcost airlines. Among ideas being considered, is setting up a new entity within Air France-KLM,” one of the sources was quoted as saying.
“The idea would be to base some pilots in Marseille, Nice and Toulouse and to do like EasyJet – avoid having aircraft over-nighting away from their operating base.”