Air France has confirmed the launch of a new subsidiary airline called Joon this autumn, based at Paris Charles de Gaulle.
The new carrier, previously referred to by Air France as ‘Boost’, will operate medium-haul flights to begin with but offer long-haul services from summer 2018.
Air France insisted Joon would not operate as a low-cost carrier, but instead be aimed at “a young working clientele whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology”.
The announcement on Thursday followed the agreement of a majority of Air France pilots to a deal ending lengthy negotiations on the establishment of the subsidiary.
Air France chief executive Franck Terner confirmed his aim is to cut costs, saying: “Joon’s creation will improve the profitability of the Air France Group, enabling it to reduce costs and ensure the sustainability of its business model.”
Joon pilots and crew will be recruited on new contracts, with lower wages and different conditions to Air France crew.
Terner hailed the announcement as “a historic moment”.
Joon will operate six aircraft. Air France promised full details of destinations, services, product and fares in September, but said the brand had been “entirely designed” to meet “the requirements and aspirations” of ‘millennials’ aged 18-35 “with an authentic and connected offering”.
Air France described Joon as “a lifestyle brand” and insisted: “Joon will not be a low-cost airline. It will offer original products and services that reflect those of Air France.”
European brand vice-president Dominique Wood said: “Joon will offer more than just a flight and a fare. It will offer a global travel experience.”
Air France announced the appointment of Jean-Michel Mathieu as Joon chief executive. Mathieu has spent most of his career at Air France working in areas including revenue management, digital services and customer relations.
IAG, owner of British Airways and Iberia, launched a new low-cost long-haul subsidiary LEVEL based in Barcelona at the start of June.
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