Specially designed offerings and the latest generation of aircraft, Air Caraïbes’ little sister intends to modify the cards of long-haul air transportation. From Tahiti to New York via Miami, French Bees offers dream destinations at fair prices. An interview with Muriel Assoulin, General Manager since its inception in 2015.
Can you go back to your career and French bee upbringing?
Muriel Assoulin: I am a pure producer of air transport: after aeronautical engineering school, ENAC (National School of Civil Aviation) and an internship at Air France in 1997 which was first time in the aeronautical sector, then I worked at Aigle Azur. I actually had the opportunity to work with Marc Rocher [président d’Air Caraïbes et de French bee] At the time of “L’Avion Paris-New York” in the 2000s. Therefore, when he created this new company with the Dubreuil Group, thinking of a long-term, low-cost model, I immediately jumped at the opportunity! At the end of 2015, I joined the team, consisting only of me! In 2017 the French Bee was born.
What is the location of the French bees?
Muriel Assoulin: The French Bee is first and foremost a simple product: an aircraft in which the customer benefits from a tailor-made offer at the best price. The idea is to reinvent low cost. While taking advantage of the newest aircraft on the market – and therefore the best comfort, the customer only pays for what they need in terms of their luggage and meals. It includes a 12k bag, all seats have big screens with very good free software.
The French Bee is the first company to have a fleet made up of 100% Airbus A350s, so what’s the bias?
Muriel Assoulin: Our basic premise was to only work with the newest generation of the lightest, carbon built aircraft. Its engines are very quiet and consume 25% less fuel. At all levels, the Airbus A350 aircraft benefit from state-of-the-art technology that ensures maximum comfort for both the crew and passengers.
What are the most prominent 7 years of existence?
Muriel Assoulin: Serving French Bee Reunion since 2018, two of our A350-1000s are dedicated to this route. This island, which has this special energy, is very popular with tourists and Reunion residents need connections to and from the capital: this millionaire’s route [sur laquelle un million de passagers voyagent par an] So it imposed itself on us. As in the case of Tahiti, there was a real need for families and tourist clients. From now on, you no longer need to spend a fortune on plane tickets to realize the Polynesian dream. We have opened up to the US market with San Francisco and New York. Los Angeles and Miami in 2022. Today, half of our customers buy their tickets on US soil; Our eclectic offer appeals to them.
What do you say to women who want to work in aviation?
Muriel Assoulin: Nothing should be prohibited. I would like us to stop telling little girls that math is for boys. Although air travel is a masculine environment, I dared — as a man might dare. I also believe that female management brings some sensitivity and tenderness which are two core values in the business.