Travelers in Europe will soon have a new way to travel in and out of Paris as Air France launches a new airline: Joon. Aimed primarily at millennial travelers (18-35), the new airline will begin operating medium-haul flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport this fall, with long-haul flights to follow next summer.
“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.
The new airline will not be low-cost. Instead, Joon flights will offer original products and services that resemble those offered at parent Air France—all while electric blue aircraft and chic flight attendant uniforms exude the new brand’s dynamic attitude.
“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,” said Fontaine.
Air France is following in the footsteps of airline conglomerate IAG (which operates the UK’s British Airways and Spain’s Iberia), which recently launched Level, a low-cost, long-haul subsidiary out of Barcelona’s El Prat airport in Spain. The Lufthansa Group also operates its low-cost brand, Eurowings, on both medium- and long-haul routes.
The new “airline-within-an-airline” trend comes as new threats to Europe’s major airlines emerge from Norwegian Air and the Middle East airlines: Etihad, Qatar and Emirates. Word of a spin-off airline became public in November 2016 when Air France announced Project Boost. The new initiative was announced with the hopes of cutting costs, enabling Air France to more effectively battle carriers from the Middle East, which have been winning market share in recent years.
Initially, Joon will fly Air France A320 aircraft on medium-haul routes throughout Europe. Beginning in the summer of 2018, the new brand will operate long-haul A340s. Eventually, these aircraft will be replaced by the state-of-the-art A350s.
While details about offerings, routes and cabin design are still forthcoming, today’s announcement formalizes the brand’s name and vision. It’s hoped the airline will find a place in Air France-KLM’s portfolio as the younger, more contemporary sister of Air France and inspire travelers to fly on her older siblings.
“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 spent most of his career in the Air France-KLM group, has been tapped for CEO.
For more on Joon, visit the new homepage here.