French airline Air France has launched low-cost flights as part of an offensive to compete with Europe’s main low-cost carriers.

Air France is offering flights from four French hubs to 58 destinations in Europe and around the Mediterranean at fares starting from 49 euros (around £39) for passengers who travel with carry-on baggage.

“Air France aims to adapt to the changes in purchasing behaviour and the new expectations of travellers, while at the same time attracting new customers,” the airline said in a statement on Monday.

The new offer is part of a restructuring plan presented last year, which is designed to save the airline a massive two billion euros by 2015.

It is great news for travellers on a budget and Air France said the programme was aimed at the 60 percent of passengers for whom the lowest price was the most important factor.

The new fares apply to flights from Orly airport south of Paris and growing Air France regional low-cost hubs in Marseille, Nice and Toulouse in southern France.

They’re available to travellers who “might be tempted by low-cost airlines” Air France chairman Alexandre de Juniac told a news conference.

The offer is “long term” and not limited to a specific time period, but customers who buy tickets will have to pay a surcharge if they subsequently want to check in luggage, and cannot request specific seats via the airline’s website.

Low-cost tickets went on sale on Monday (January 7) for flights beginning on February 6.

Check out our travel section for tips on where to go if you take up Air France’s amazing offer.

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