Air France Killing Low Fare Carrier-Within-a-Carrier Joon and Millennials Everywhere Rejoice

It’s been a year since Air France started service under the ‘Joon’ brand. A separate airline with lower labor costs is one thing – and Joon had lower flight attendant costs, but not lower pilot costs. It’s hard enough to pull that off without really being a separate company. Just ask United, Delta, US Airways, and Continental about the airline within an airline experiment.

Pretending that the Air France low cost carrier without low costs was really a different brand for millennials was just silly. It was created by consultants who think millennial means “no money, doesn’t care about comfort, and is into marketing buzz.”

Credit: Air France

Millennials aren’t that different from other generations. They may not buy as many souvenirs but spend more on experiences while they’re away. However where millennials really diverge from other generations is that they are less trusting of institutions. So patronizing millennials by forced attempts at authenticity is self-defeating.

When you’re taking advice on cool from a mid-40s white male like me, you’re doing it wrong.

And whenever I thought of Air France’s Joon I couldn’t help but think of the Benny & Joon soundtrack and that Proclaimers song something along the lines of “I’d rather walk 500 miles than fly Air France’s Joon.”

Air France has a new CEO, and he’s sharp. Word leaked in late November that Ben Smith was looking to shut down Joon.

  • He knows the airline needs to be a premium carrier. It has high costs, so needs to generate a revenue premium.
  • It added complexity to the operation.
  • Joon was just confusing and antagonized labor groups. Since they’re French they have perennial labor problems. Killing Joon is an opportunity to help there.

La Tribune is reporting (French) that an agreement has been reached for Air France to shut down Joon.

An agreement has been reached to integrate Joon cabin crew into Air France, which means a big raise for them — since they were paid 40% less than comparable Air France mainline crew. Joon pilots are already paid comparably to mainline.

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @John, Air Canada is still trying with Rouge, Lufthansa with Eurowings, and IAG with their variety of lower-cost non-OW brands (Level, Vueling, Aer Lingus). There’s also Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon.

    No idea if this actually works long-term, but they keep trying it. 🙂

  2. No one does it as well as AA. They bring the low cost carrier traits to a premium airline until the original airline becomes a low cost airline with a premium brand name. I think you can trace then back to Peoples Express.

  3. LH/EW is different. They actually have separate staff pools and labor contracts forblowr costs.
    I believe the same is true for some of the IAG brands.
    If LH/IAG are not doing it, RyanAir, easyJet and WizzAir will eat their leisure-lunch….

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