French millennial magnet Joon meets its maker

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January 12, 2019
Joon meets its maker
Photo: Samantha Reinders.

Air France’s millennial experiment, Joon, is being wound down because people found it too difficult to understand.

The self-proclaimed French fashion statement, launched a year ago in a blaze of marketing speak as an alternative aimed at young travelers,  will be reintegrated with the parent airline.

Its demise was announced just over a year after it launched its first services in December 2018, using Airbus A321s and A320s.

It was described at the time as “a fashion brand, a rooftop bar, an entertainment channel, a personal assistant” that also flew planes.

The hybrid airline expanded to long-haul operations using refurbished A340-300s in 2018.

By the time it started flying to Capetown in April 2018, the airline was no longer pitching itself as an airline for millennials but as an “innovation lab” for its parent.

Joon is for everyone, Joon is the next generation travel experience, it is to build an innovative product in what could be the travel of tomorrow,” chief executive Jean-Michel Mathieu said at the time.

READ Enigmatic Joon an innovation lab for ailing Air France.

The final bell tolled for the experiment on January 10  when Air France announced it had launched a project “studying the future of the Joon brand and the integration of Joon employees and aircraft into Air France”.

“Despite the many positive impacts of Joon, in particular the invaluable contribution of the teams at Joon who launched the company and worked with passion and dedication, the brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, for employees, for markets and for investors,’’ it said in a statement

“The plurality of brands in the marketplace has created much complexity and unfortunately weakened the power of the Air France brand.

“Through integration, Air France would see many benefits thanks to fleet, brand, and product harmonization.

“Managing the operation would be improved through a common fleet of aircraft

“Air France will also be able to ensure a smooth transition of the Airbus A350, currently on order, to the Air France fleet with a more economical cabin configuration.”

Air France said Joon flights already sold or for sale would be operated by Joon until the project is completed and then taken over by Air France.