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Air France to Launch Low-Cost Airline

Friday 01 December 2006

Air France is to launch a low-cost French airline, which is scheduled to commence operations in June 2007.

The new airline will be called Transavia, which Air France plan to grow to a turnover of €300 million within three years.

Initially, at least, it would seem the airline is not proposing to take on the UK based low-cost airlines for a share of the UK market to France.

The airline will be based at Orly airport outside of Paris, and its main destinations will be Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Italy, and Spain.

Air France prefers to call the airline 'tourist' rather than 'low-cost', so until the timetable is published it is not entirely clear just how much of a regular service is to be offered.

Although the flights to the UK offered by Ryanair, Easyjet and others are well known, the French are not major low-cost flyers.

In part, this is because of the dispensation granted to Air France itself over the use of French airports, but it is also because the French spend holiday at home more than other Europeans.

Transavia is already a small low-cost airline owned by KLM, itself part of the Air France-KLM group, which operates out of Schiphol airport in the Netherlands. It has destinations throughout Europe.

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