Today marks the end of yet another full-service airline’s low-cost attempt, as Air France operates the last flights on its Joon subsidiary.
Joon has gone out with something of a whimper, rather than a bang. Save for a few words on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, not much was made of the final flights of this short-lived airline. The last Joon flights, JN 1405 from Rome and JN 1583 from Prague are scheduled to land in Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport at 22:20 CET today.
Launched in 2017 as Air France’s low-cost subsidiary, Joon was a targeted attempt to break into the world of no-frills flying. Playing on the French word for young, ‘jeune’, the airline aimed at millennials just didn’t really take off.
Hurting Air France’s image
When former Air Canada boss Ben Smith took over as CEO of Air France-KLM his first job was to take a look at the company with a new set of eyes. He set out to outline a future path towards success and profitability.
Unfortunately for Joon, he viewed their young, casually dressed flight crew, handing out organic snacks as detrimental to the Air France brand. Fully dedicated to running Air France as a premium airline once more, Smith decided to shut Joon for good.
One Mile at a Time reports that Smith wrote a letter to Air France’s employees. In it, he said that they needed to focus on Air France being a world leading airline, and that the inconsistency Joon created just wasn’t worth it.
What was the idea behind Joon?
The folks behind the creation of Joon thought that their strategy of offering virtual reality headsets, a young, hip flight crew and a healthy food menu would attract young and connected clientele. Sadly, it didn’t work, as the millennial’s that Joon was supposed to target were looking for the same thing we all are – cheap airfares!
In January of this year, the airline’s fate was decided. Air France met with unions and agreed to incorporate all of Joon’s planes and 600 or so employee’s into their own operations, according to the French newspaper La Tribune.
Air France pulls the plug on Joon
Following the deal between Air France management and the unions, the French flag carrier issued a statement announcing the end of Joon. It read,
“After much discussion with employees and customers alike, and in consultation with the unions, Air France has decided to launch a project studying the future of the Joon brand and the integration of Joon employees and aircraft into Air France.”
The airline went on to explain the reason they were terminating Joon adding, “the brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, for employees, for markets and for investors. All Joon flights currently sold or for sale will be honoured, either by the carrier itself or by Air France.”
The demise of Joon comes on the heels of budget long-haul airlines Primera and Wow Air. The loss of Joon is yet more proof that budget long-haul flying is a difficult nut to crack.
Is Norwegian Air next? What do you think?