Air France has confirmed that its Hop! regional subsidiary is to be rebranded as Air France Hop, as the carrier continues to simplify its brand portfolio.

Earlier this week we reported that the Hop! brand was under threat, with La Tribune reporting that new Air France KLM CEO Ben Smith was unhappy with the Hop brand “because it is confusing for Air France’s long-haul passengers, a problem similar to Joon.”

In a statement Air France said that the move to rebrand its regional carrier was “the next step in the process of simplifying Air France-KLM’s brand portfolio in order to provide greater clarity for customers and more consistency with the group’s global commercial offer”.

The group is keen to more clearly link Air France’s regional services to the main Air France brand, similar to the KLM Cityhopper offering.

The move follows last month’s news that Air France plans to close its short lived millennial-focused Joon brand, and will effectively leave the Air France KLM group with three branding strands – Air France / Air France Hop, KLM / KLM Cityhopper, and the group’s low-cost subsidiary Transavia, which operates in both France and the Netherlands.

Confirming the news, Smith said:

“This is the next step towards consolidating the strength of our brands and increasing the clarity and overall consistency of the Air France-KLM Group’s offer.

“The domestic network, including the regional market currently operated by Hop! is fundamental to the Air France business model, securing its regional foothold and is an integral part of its history and DNA. In the face of competition in this market, we must make our offer clearer and link it more closely to the values and strengths of the Air France brand.

“I would like to praise the commitment and professionalism of all staff at Hop!. I am confident that together we will succeed in making Air France Hop the reference brand for our customers when they travel on our regional network.”

Air France stressed that the change of branding would have no effect on the work contracts of Hop! staff, and all flights currently on sale will operate as normal.