Air France HOP Regional Jets Getting New Cabins

Air France HOP Regional Jets Getting New Cabins

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Air France has announced plans to update the cabins of the aircraft belonging to its regional subsidiary.

Air France HOP Embraer E190 cabin makeover plans

Air France HOP is Air France’s regional subsidiary, operating a fleet of over 30 Embraer aircraft, including E170s and E190s. Starting in the fall of 2024, Air France HOP Embraer E190s will be getting new cabins. It makes sense that Air France is waiting until the peak summer travel season to start this week, given that the Olympics will be in Paris this summer.

As of now, Air France is tight-lipped about what we can expect, though states that the cabins will be unveiled in late May 2024, at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. Here’s what Air France has shared:

  • The new seats are being designed in partnership with French manufacturer Expliseat, with “an innovative carbon fiber and titanium seat combining a lightweight and sustainable design with enhanced comfort, durability and functionality”
  • The new seats will be “consistent with the high standards of comfort offered on board the Airbus A220”
  • The entire cabin decor will be given a makeover in the Air France colors, ranging from the bulkheads to the carpet

I recently reviewed the Air France HOP Embraer E190 business class experience, on the short flight between Paris and Frankfurt, just to give you a sense of what customers are currently getting.

Current Air France HOP Embraer E190 cabin

What I’d love to see on Air France HOP Embraer E190 jets

Air France’s Embraer E190s have fairly “retro” cabins, in a good way. That’s to say that the seat padding is quite good, as the planes don’t have slimline seats, like you’ll find on most newer aircraft.

I imagine that with these new cabins, we’ll see slimmer seats introduced. I’m curious if the seat count on these planes will be increased. You’d think the obvious answer would be “yes,” but the catch is that the planes currently have exactly 100 seats. Once you get over 100 seats, you need a third flight attendant, so there’s quite a cost to that, especially when you consider that most flights aren’t 100% full.

With that in mind, there are certainly some things that it would be nice to see. For one, it would be great if the jets had power ports and Wi-Fi. Admittedly this isn’t really essential on such short flights, since these planes largely operate 45-90 minute flights, so people can live without it. Still, it would be nice to have.

Beyond that, my biggest complaint with the experience on these jets is that business class doesn’t offer blocked adjacent seats, as you’ll find in the mainline fleet. This makes a huge difference in terms of comfort, and it would be nice to have a similar experience regardless of whether you end up on a mainline or regional jet. After all, the fares are the same, so the experience should be similar as well.

As I’ve said many times, I’m delighted to see how Air France continues to improve its passenger experience, especially on long haul flights. The carrier’s new Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 777-300ER business class products are great, while the Airbus A220-300s on short haul flights also represent a very nice improvement.

I’d love to see blocked seats on Air France HOP

Bottom line

Air France HOP Embraer E190s are getting new cabins in late 2024, including new seats and new cabin finishes. Some of the details still remain to be seen, but I’m looking forward to learning more. I’m curious if we see any other updates, like power ports, Wi-Fi, or blocked business class seats.

What do you make of planned changes to Air France HOP Embraer E190s? What would you like to see?

Conversations (12)
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  1. neogucky Member

    Ben, where do you get your number of AF Hop flights being only 70% full most of the times? I don't know about these flights specifically but I can't remember when I took the last regional EU flight without the plane being completely booked.

    1. neogucky Member

      Now I remember! It was during the pandemic. What a time to fly, even with the masks. For nearly no cost as well.

    2. icarus Guest

      Of course he has no idea of the load factors . Sometimes people take one flight and because it was not full assume it's the same across the entire network

  2. Weymar Osborne Gold

    I hadn't thought about this before but is the FA/passenger ratio based on the number of people onboard the plane or based off the actual capacity of the aircraft? e.g. would a 101-seat plane with only 70 people booked still require a third flight attendant?

    1. David W Guest

      Pretty sure it is seats (at least in the US). That's why there were many prop planes with 29 seats exactly-the max that required no FA.

    2. Mr Deez Guest

      Correct. It is seats. Counts both for FAA rules and scope clauses. I remember the Northwest airlines sub fleet of CRJ-200 that had a huge closet and 44 seats because there was a limit on how many 50 seaters they could fly

    3. Levi Diamond

      A 101-seat plane would require a third FA even if it flew with only one passenger.

    4. neogucky Member

      How about permanently blocked seats though? Could't they disable one seat each side in the first two rows and add another row to compensate? This would allow them to switch to "real" European Business Class without losing much.

  3. Drew Kaye Guest

    I love the new Air France long haul product but find myself unwilling to book them due to the lack of a blocked seat on Hop operated flights. I wonder if they know how many business class passengers they're losing due to this cost cutting measure?

    1. Icarus Guest

      Not many, since traffic is up in premium cabins. Your logic makes little sense as if the forward cabin has a 95% plus load factor, none.

      And for short flights it’s fine. That is the raison d’etre of the embraer otherwise it would be over capacity.

  4. stogieguy7 Gold

    It's been like 15 years, but I am still nervous about taking an AF long haul flight and ending up in the ocean for no good reason.

  5. Sel, D. Guest

    Boycott! PHX-CDG has been on sale two months and STILL not bookable with miles.

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The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

David W Guest

Pretty sure it is seats (at least in the US). That's why there were many prop planes with 29 seats exactly-the max that required no FA.

1
Weymar Osborne Gold

I hadn't thought about this before but is the FA/passenger ratio based on the number of people onboard the plane or based off the actual capacity of the aircraft? e.g. would a 101-seat plane with only 70 people booked still require a third flight attendant?

1
Icarus Guest

Not many, since traffic is up in premium cabins. Your logic makes little sense as if the forward cabin has a 95% plus load factor, none. And for short flights it’s fine. That is the raison d’etre of the embraer otherwise it would be over capacity.

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