A new French airline claiming to offer "affordable full first-class service to every passenger" is scheduled to be launched in September.

Operating from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport, Fairlines will fly initially on routes within Europe, serving the major cities. The airline plans to start flying in November with an initial fleet of two McDonnell Douglas MD-82s configured in an all-first-class 72-seat layout. A fleet of up to ten MD-80s is envisaged, which will be equipped with an interactive in-flight entertainment system, and a $13 million deal has been for the equipment has been signed with Network Connection of the USA.

Fairlines' owner and operator, Francois Arpel, of the jewellery and fragrance giant Van Cleef & Arpels, says that "until now, first-class and business-class travellers have been forced to make their European flights on airlines that do not offer true first-class accommodation".

Source: Flight International