Air France to launch 'Economy Flex' fare

27 Nov 2014 by GrahamSmith

Air France will next year launch a new "Economy Flex" medium-haul fare for business passengers.

The tickets, which go on sale in January for flights starting in April, are transferable in the same booking class and refundable at no extra charge.

Passengers will also be able to catch an earlier flight than scheduled, on the same day and at no cost.

Air France medium-hall seats

New medium-haul seating

And they will be able to earn Flying Blue miles, have access to Air France's fast-track Skypriority services and will be allocated seats at the front of the economy cabin.

From April, the airline will introduce a redesigned seat on-board its medium-haul fleet based at Paris Charles de Gaulle.

The new seat will be upholstered in leather and fitted in all cabin classes. It will be installed on 24 A319 aircraft in the first half of next year, with 25 A320s to follow in the first half of 2016.

The national carrier is also upgrading its medium-haul business class offering to include a full breakfast in the morning — coffee, tea, fruit juice, bread and pastries — and a snack or cold meal at other times of the day.

Air France medium-hall cabin

Air France medium-hall seats back

Service on longer flights will be "modelled on that of long-haul flights. A welcome drink, hot meals, wine service, gourmet coffee and liqueur will be offered. On all flights, warm pastries and crusty bread will be served directly from the oven."

Passengers in economy will be offered larger crossants and "a choice of sweet or savoury items or more gourmet sandwiches depending on the time of day". A hot meal will be provided on longer flights.

Air France will also trial an inflight wifi service for three months next summer. It has teamed up with Orange to offer fee-paying internet access on-board two A320s on its short- and medium-haul networks.

Frédéric Gagey, the airline's chairman and CEO, said: "Winning the preference of each of our customers on departure from Europe by repositioning Air France among the world's leading airlines in terms of products and services is a strategic priority."

Last week, the carrier announced that all of its short-haul services will from next summer be operated by a new subsidiary called Hop Air France (see news, November 21).

Graham Smith

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