More Details On Joon, Air France’s Airline For Millennials

Several months ago I wrote about Joon, Air France’s new airline targeted at millennials. As we knew at the time, Joon will be based at Paris Charles de Gaulle, and will begin operating medium-haul services in fall 2017, and long-haul services in summer 2018. Ultimately it seems like the intent behind this is to be able to establish a new, lower cost operation, and I guess they have to come up with some unique marketing to go along with it. While the airline will be using Air France pilots, they’ll be able to hire lower cost flight attendants.

What I find much , however, is how hard they’re marketing towards millennials. Millennials might say that Joon is a bit “extra.” For example, here’s how Joon is described:

Joon is especially aimed at a young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35 year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology. This new brand has been entirely designed to meet their requirements and aspirations, with an authentic and connected offering that stands out in the world of air transport.

Joon is a lifestyle brand and a state of mind. Short, punchy and international, the name Joon is designed to address a worldwide audience.

Its visual identity is based on an electric blue colour code symbolizing the airline’s dynamic attitude, as well as the sky, space and travel. The uniform of Joon’s flight attendants will be inspired by the new fashion codes, basic and chic.

Well, today a lot more details have been revealed about Joon, and unfortunately it doesn’t lend much more credibility to the operation. First, here’s a marketing video that showcases their flight attendant uniforms:

Here’s what else we now know about Joon:

Joon fleet

Joon will operate a fleet of Airbus aircraft, including A320s, A321s, A340s, and A350s. By 2020 they hope to have 18 A320/A321 aircraft, and 10 A330/A350 aircraft.

Joon routes

As of December 1, 2017, Joon will operate flights to the following destinations from Paris, with prices starting at 39EUR one-way:

  • Barcelona, Spain (51 weekly flights)
  • Berlin, Germany (37 weekly flights)
  • Lisbon, Portugal (28 weekly flights)
  • Porto, Portugal (3 weekly flights)

Then starting in summer 2018, Joon will operate flights to the following longhaul destinations:

  • Fortaleza, Brazil (2 weekly flights), starting at 249EUR including tax
  • Mahe, Seychelles (3 weekly flights), starting at 299EUR including tax

Joon’s onboard food offering

Joon will offer free food & drinks in business class, and snacks for purchase in economy (though water, orange juice, Segafredo, coffee, and tea are free). As they describe it:

Joon will delight its customers’ taste buds with around sixty tasty treats, 20% of which are organic, sold on board by the crew. Enjoy a cold drink, a few appetizers, a high-energy fruit juice, fill up with vitamins or share a snack on board a flight in Europe.

Joon’s inflight entertainment

Passengers will have access to inflight streaming entertaining on their personal devices, and there will be power ports at seats to recharge.

Joon business class passengers will get virtual reality headsets

Business class passengers on longhaul flights will get virtual reality headsets:

The AlloSky Virtual Reality Headset will be available to Business customers on long-haul flights in collaboration with SkyLights. This new generation headset provides several innovations such as a high-definition screen and a diopter correction to adapt to everyone’s eyes. It can be connected individually to each seat.

Bottom line

It’s pretty clear the reason for Joon is to be able to lower operating costs on larger planes (for smaller planes, Air France already has their subsidiary Hop), and frankly I’m surprised they got the flight attendant union to agree to this. The whole millennial twist is just a bit much for me. I get they’re trying to make this sound appealing, but the differences here basically come down to having flight attendants that are dressed more casually, more organic buy on board options, and virtual reality headsets in longhaul business class. Otherwise this is business as usual for Air France.

Comments

  1. It can’t be worse than Air Canada Rouge, can it?

    I’m ok with low cost business class (removing physical IFE is actually a big saving, and many routes can be flown with normal angle seats), but so far the destinations are not really for “working millenials”. It looks more catered for “millenials whose parents are working”.

  2. I can’t work out if Fortaleza is a brilliant idea (a delightful Brazilian city, warm and sunny all year – somewhere Brazilians themselves often vacation – and pretty inaccessible from Europe) or, if they’re really after business traffic, a lousy one.

    The whole concept looks utterly ghastly to me, but then, I’m an old f*rt.

  3. Well they are going to need the VR headsets since the A340 fly be flying with AF old angled J product according to a well informed member on Flyertalk that had been granted an interview with a AF executive.

    Take our old and worst product, slap on a bit of paint outside, add new crew uniforms=success?

  4. @ Ben – This piece made me ask: what WOULD you look for in an airline designed for your age-group? You say it’s “business as usual” at this new carrier, but it seems to me that wifi / streaming and organic snacks are things that make sense and that might provide an incremental improvement for many passengers.

    Are there other, bigger ideas? What does an airline designed around your generation actually look like? And if you care to answer, can we focus on economy class, as that’s what most people fly? (The sky’s the limit at the premium end, but it really doesn’t get better than a shower).

  5. @ Mauricio

    I didn’t call it “inaccessible”. I called it “pretty inaccessible”, for exactly the reason you mentioned.

    Then again, if you’ve read about Lucky’s recent experiences on TAP you may consider that airline is a worse option than Joon…

  6. Will passengers connecting to/from La Premiere get the full treatment at CDG? I’m guessing yes, but wondering if you have info on this?

  7. So do the parents get AF miles since they’re the ones paying for the flights?

    Also, big fail on the food options. No hand-crafted, farm-to-table, organic (only 20??!?), locally-sourced, sustainable, fresh, authentic, unprocessed, menu items?

  8. So will joon metal replace AF metal on the European routes? It makes no sense for joon to offer upto 7 flights a day from cdg to Barcelona as well as AF with a similar frequency So in the long term many euro flights will be operated by joon, transavia or hop. A similar set up to cathay Pacific / Cathay dragon albeit with too many subsidiaries and causing confusion
    One has to consider will they join skyteam and operate under their own flight code and tickets

  9. As a millennial, I find this whole concept incredibly condescending. I probably will never step foot on a Joon plane. I’m DL Diamond and fly Air France La Premiere and Business. I care about the customer experience, the service onboard and not VR Headsets. Many working millennials like myself follow a structure much like the generations before us. Air France assuming an identity for us is almost offensive. I have doubts about this move. I’d like to think my generation isn’t gullible enough to buy into this marketing crap.

  10. Actually, what Millenials want isn’t hard, but most airlines just have absolutely no clue about style vs. substance. It’s like how Alaska is trying super hard to be ‘cool’ now since the VX Merger.

    “Millenials love everything about Virgin America, we’ve gotta do something that makes us feel cool or our customers are all going to go to JetBlue.”

    “We could make our cabins stylish or provide really good buy-on-board food and drinks through a slick ordering system.”

    “Nah, we’re talking millenials- they don’t care about that”

    “We could add in televisions on the seat backs and streaming music that people like.”

    “Nah, our studies show millenials prefer looking at seatback pockets.”

    “Really? Are you just looking for something cynical and shallow, like flight attendants wearing t-shirts on Saturday flights.”

    “Brilliant! And also put hashtags on the napkins.”

  11. Its a bunch of crock, if you ask me. Once the initial hype dies down, Joon will just be another discount airlines and will last 1 year, no longer. Millennials don’t need their own airline. Air France should have used the effort and expense to improve their own service in Economy. You can’t make money charging peanuts for flights.

  12. Alex – you’re offended because you don’t quite fit into the (incredibly tame and generic) millennial description they’re going with? Don’t be so precious…

  13. I think this is more about attracting low-wage millennial flight attendants than about attracting millennial customers.

  14. Fortaleza seems like a smart move. I go there for business, and always end up having to backtrack to GRU or GIG to get back to Asia. There are flights from LIS on TP, but that would still require two connections. CDG-FOR flights would offer a more direct, one-stop routing.

  15. Go Doom! millenial “lifestyles” included addictions to ‘electronic heroine’, narcopathies, checking their dumb phones everything 5sec, professional stupe. dents., Cluster B mental derangements, and living off of parents/trust funds/inheritances while Go doom.–great us-style hustler tactic to drum up dinero! Love it!

  16. AF may wish to look into –Boomer Airlines–a greedy, self centered airline that gives scraps and crumbs and other left overs to the bright- sided syndrome eager beaver employees and duped passengers. Boomer airline will reaped all the opportunities, and benefits and keep it all to themselves. Fly Boomer- where you’re lucky to get a seat! Oh, yah, keep working really hard and come early, stay late-Horatio Alger said so–make the boomers pile on that dinero! Boomer Air. Next in, sad sack Gen X Airlines–home of debt.

  17. @John – The answer is really simple in the US. It’s called Virgin America. I do think AS might be trying a little bit too hard in the merger…but otherwise it’s doing fine. I mean as a millennial, all I want is plugs/USB in every seat, spacious modern interiors, flexible and expansive entertainment options (seatback a plus), and “gourmet” snacks/meals at a reasonable price. Mood lighting and creative (but not feeling “trying to hard”) videos a plus.

  18. I started to read the press release PDF, but gagged and had to stop when I got to this:

    “To create Joon, we worked together to define a new offer in the air transport industry, in a spirit of creativity, innovation and agility.”

    Anytime you encounter that many buzzwords in one sentence, you’re almost certain to be dealing with an idea conceived by people who know nothing about the market they’re trying to tap into.

    This may be the worst airline idea since Hooters Air.

  19. Fortaleza???????

    SO random haha. There is only ONE beach the public can access. Its very hot. And dangerous.

    But I guess it could be a way to get milennials to Jericoacoara (or Jeri), the actual hotspot in Ceara.

  20. Longhaul appears to be 2-2-2 on the A340. At least as long as the A340 is flying, Joon seems like where AF wants to park aircraft that aren’t worth refitting to the ‘new’ AF J seat plan.
    What’s the pitch down the back, too? Do Millennials care about their knees?

  21. Chosing to fly to Fortaleza is a genius move. Air France (JOON) and KLM have announced direct flights to Fortaleza starting from May and there is a huge demand for a “HUB” in the northeast of Brazil. GOL, the leading low cost airline in Brazil, has been a partner with AF/KLM for many years now and even codesharing flights. Fortaleza is only one of many popular toursit destinations in the northeastern Brazil. Salvador, Recife, Joao Pessoa, Natal, Sao Luiz, Belem and Manaus are only a 1-2 hours flight away from Fortaleza, and with GOL making Fortaleza it’s new domestic HUB they have strengthened their partnership with AF/KLM and will offer connecting flights to the other cities. Geographically, Fortaleza is the closest Brazilian city to Europe so it makes perfect sense that this city was chosen. Apart from expensive tickets from TAP Portugal, the only airline with daily direct flights to Fortaleza, you previously had to travel 22-28 hours with stopovers in either Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo to get to this part of Brazil. Next year it’s possible to get her under 12 hours.

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