Air France confirms plans for low-cost startup

Air France-KLM Group said has been examining a range of options for entering the low-cost, long-haul travel market in a move that would parallel developments at German rival Deutsche Lufthansa AG, the company said.

The airline said it has been working on plans for the venture for more than a year as it seeks to respond to competition from carriers including Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, French Blue and more traditional foes such as Lufthansa.

Expanding into the no-frills long-haul market would mark a departure for Air France-KLM, which has so far focused efforts to develop a lower-cost model on short-range European routes.

Air France is the French flag carrier headquartered in Tremblay-en-France. It is a subsidiary of the Air France–KLM Group and a founding member of the SkyTeam global airline alliance.