Join them… or introduce a new regional subsidiary?

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The competition between full service carriers and low cost carriers has been a hot topic in the mind of everyone that is interested in aviation. And, a few weeks ago Alwin Lijdsman, a tech and developments specialist at Aviation Platform decided to tackle the subject: Possible solution for full service carriers? If you can’t beat the low cost carriers, join them?

And now….

Air France-KLM will introduce a new regional subsidiary, HOP! This new regional subsidiary will combine Airlinair, Brit Air and Regional to create an airline that Air France-KLM hopes to bring profit by 2014. The airline will be launched in March 2013.

The name is short, easy to remember and easy to say in any language, it also does not refer to a national identity, as said by Marcel Botton, head of French branding specialists Nomen. The non-national identity part is also a plus as some passengers are loyal to a country’s brand name due to their national identity. However, the short name alone will not prove a success, as we also saw that Go was bought by EasyJet from British Airways and Buzz, created by KLM, was then bought by Ryanair. Air France-KLM will soon launch their plans for this new project, so I am curious to see how HOP! will compete with other regional subsidiaries that already exist.

HOP! Will employ fewer staff than are currently working for Air France or KLM to help streamline the costs. Also, HOP! will fly a fleet of 98 more fuel-efficient aircraft built by ATR, Bombardier and Embraer, where as one of their competitors, Germanwings mostly operates larger aircraft from Airbus. With these s aircraft HOP! hopes to gain profit in their short haul routes, where Air France-KLM had to compete with other regional carriers and low cost carriers. HOP! will fly to 136 destinations (with up to 530 flights a day) in Europe starting on the 31st of March. Some one way tickets are claimed to be 55 euros.

Possible solution for full service carriers? If you can’t beat the low cost carriers, join them? Or…a regional subsidiary?

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