ISTAT Rome: Discipline is key for legacy carrier's low-cost subsidiaries

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Air France-KLM sees the benefit of lower cost affiliated subsidiaries in its European network to help combat the increasing presence of low-cost carriers.

At the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading conference in Rome, Air France's senior vice president fleet Bruno Delile said certain passenger routes in Europe "can only be operated" by low-cost structures. "That's the path we are taking at Air France-KLM, and we are passing some routes to lower cost based airlines within our Group."

In April Air France announced that as part of its extensive restructuring short- and medium-haul businesses, the operations of Transavia France were likely to be developed.

Delile adds that "discipline, simplicity and autonomy" are key for the success of a lower cost based airline within a legacy carrier.

Lufthansa announced earlier this week it will merge all of its domestic and European non-hub narrowbody operations "commercially and organisationally" with those of its low-cost operation Germanwings from January 2013. Around 90 aircraft will be operated by the merged business, which will include several from Eurowings - the former Germanwings parent - which will fly on the new company's behalf.