White sneakers, free Wi-Fi and quinoa salad: With the new budget daughter Joon Air France wants to score from today with young travelers. But the competition is great – and the first breakdown already existed before the start.
Paris If French companies are not saving, they are unbeatable in style. At least that seems to be the recipe for Joon, the new Air France-KLM airline . This week the airline starts. The company name is supposed to be an allusion to “jeune”, French for young.
On board, it should also look like the paradise for millennials: flight attendants, fashionably styled and technically sophisticated, serve trendy superfoods such as baobab juice or organic quinoa salad. Meanwhile, young audiences are streaming movies and TV shows as they fly from Paris to Barcelona at low prices.
Reality, on the other hand, is less glamorous. The hipster painting conceals that the new airline is the result of tough calculations in the aviation company. The winning formula is: The costs are pushed down more than the ticket prices. Thus, Air France wants to stop the further advance of low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and keep other competitors from the lucrative long-haul market. Joon is the group’s second attempt to cut costs; the first failed under partly violent protests of the coworkers.
Analysts believe Joon will have to start successfully before oil prices rise again. Otherwise, Air France would lose its current upswing. In the first nine months, the Group’s operating income rose 44 percent year-on-year, with the share price doubling. This is also because after numerous terrorist attacks again more tourists come to France .
“Air France needs to improve its cost structure compared to its competitors in order to succeed in an environment that is less favorable than it is today,” said Andrew Lobbenberg, aviation analyst at HSBC . “That’s what Joon is about.”
The new subsidiary is Air France’s fourth brand alongside the core brand, the short-haul Transavia and the regional airline Hop !. Joon will be based at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport and will start operations this Friday. The first destinations are Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon and Porto, and in the coming year more exotic destinations like the Seychelles or Fortaleza in Brazil will be added. Approval for flights to the US has already been requested. Company boss Jean Michel Mathieu announced on Thursday that later also Rome, Naples, Oslo, Istanbul, Cairo, Tehran and Cape Town wants to approach.