New Air France-KLM CEO Benjamin Smith has taken the next move in simplifying the organization’s brand structure, bringing Air France’s regional operator HOP! closer to the parent company.
The regional carrier will be rebranded as Air France HOP (losing its exclamation mark) to tie the company’s brand identity more closely to that of the mainline carrier.
This follows the December 2018 announcement that Air France hybrid carrier Joon is to be absorbed into Air France.
Joon was supposed to appeal to “millennials” and have its own style, but its positioning in the market was never clearly understood either by industry observers or Air France staff; Smith felt that the additional brand confused and weakened the group’s marketing stance.
HOP! became operational in 2013 and was the result of an amalgamation of three French regional carriers—Brit Air, Regional and Airlinair.
All marketing for the regional carrier will henceforth be undertaken under its new identity.
“This is 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 company said in a statement Feb. 1.
The move also brings a degree of consistency with KLM’s regional offshoot, which is branded KLM Cityhopper. The Air France-KLM group also includes LCC Transavia.
“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,” Smith said.
“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 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.”
The change in branding will have no effect on the work contracts of HOP! staff, the airline said.