MIAMI — Air France has announced its intentions to launch a new low-cost carrier named Joon. According to Air France, Joon is “aimed at a young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35-year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology.”
While Air France advertises the airline as being targeted at millennials, there may be ulterior goals for the airline. During Air France’s Investor’s Day in May, Joon, then referred to as “Boost Project,” was presented as a way for Air France to fend off Gulf carriers such as Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar.
Specifically, the presentation states that the airline now known as Joon would operate “mix of Asian routes in competition with the Gulf carriers.”
Joon will begin flying with the Airbus A320 and Airbus A340. Over time, the airline will replace their A340 fleet with the modern Airbus A350. The Joon fleet will consist of 18 medium-haul aircraft and 10 long-haul aircraft by 2020 according to the Investor’s Day presentation.
Close to 70% of Joon’s long-haul flying will be replacing or supplementing existing Air France service on routes that are unprofitable. The other 30% will be on completely new routes to the Air France family.
“We started with our target customer segment, the millennials, to create this new brand that means something to them,” said Caroline Fontaine, VP Brand at Air France. “Our brief was simple: to find a name to illustrate a positive state of mind. This generation has inspired us a lot: epicurean and connected, they are opportunistic in a positive sense of the word as they know how to enjoy every moment and are in search of quality experiences that they want to share with others. Joon is a brand that carries these values.”
Air France wants to make clear that Joon will not be a low-cost airline. Instead, they claim Joon will offer products and services that reflect those found on Air France. The airline will have many differences such as new food and drink, separate aircraft, and new cabin designs.
“With Joon, we have created a young and connected brand that will give the Group a new impetus,” said Dominique Wood, EVP Brand and Communications at Air France. “Designed for our millennial customers, it will offer more than just a flight and a fare, it will offer a global travel experience. We’ll provide a further update in September, with more details on the brand’s content, products, services, destinations and range of fares!”
“The creation of a new airline is a historic moment in many ways,” said Franck Terner, CEO of Air France. “Joon is another step in the deployment of the Trust Together strategic project. Its creation will improve the profitability of the Air France Group, enabling it to reduce its costs and ensure the sustainability of its business model. Jean-Michel Mathieu, who has taken part in the development of this new airline since the start, today becomes its CEO. With all the Group’s teams, we are concentrating our energy on the successful launch of Joon.”
Joon is the latest attempt by European airlines to diversify in pursuit of higher profits. Earlier this year, the International Airlines Group (IAG) commenced operations of a new Barcelona based carrier named LEVEL. Similarly, the Lufthansa Group owns Eurowings, a low-cost carrier that flys medium and long-haul flights using A320 family aircraft and several A330-200s.