MIAMI — The Joon adventure has come to a rapid end. According to an internal memo from the UNAC syndicate, the low-cost spinoff that was conceived as a millennial-targeted airline will be reabsorbed into Air France.
“The brand was difficult to understand by customers,” says the airline.
“After numerous exchanges with employees and customers, and discussions with the unions, we have decided to launch a project on the future of the brand Joon, and the integration of employees and aircraft from Joon to Air France.”
The internal memo from the cabin crew syndicate celebrates the decision of putting the Joon brand to rest.
“The company has outsourced 10% of our jobs towards Joon as punishment for the strike of the Summer 2016,” said UNAC in its memo. “It is almost 2,000 jobs that have disappeared these last 10 years.”
Air France says that the multiplicity of brands “has created complexity and unfortunately weakened the power of the brand.”
According to the airline, integrating both brands will bring benefits, “including modernization of the fleet, products of the brand, and operations management would be improved by a common fleet of aircraft.”
Joon was launched in December 2017 as a low-cost spinoff of Air France, targetting Millennials looking for different in-flight experiences.
Only 13 months after its launch with great fanfare by former Air France CEO, Jean-Marc Janaillac, Joon is officially buried.
This news comes as no surprise. The group’s new CEO, Benjamin Smith, noted that he didn’t see logical sense in the creation of Joon.
Back in December, Smith told Le Figaro that he had decided to “put an end” to the subsidiary, as he didn’t understand the positioning or identity of the carrier.
Currently, Joon operates a fleet of 13 Airbus A320 family planes and four A340-300s. The airline had hoped to grow its fleet to 28 planes by 2020, including 10 Airbus A350-900s.
Cabin Crew Back To Air France
With the integration of both airlines, about 600 Joon cabin crew will be absorbed back into the Air France operation.
“An agreement on their integration has been signed by Air France’s management and the airline’s unions,” said UNAC.
As reported in
“They will enter the level of remuneration of the hired Air France and will benefit from working conditions in force in the parent company—a clear improvement for Joon’s hostesses and stewards (who complained about their low pay and hard working conditions),” says journalist Fabrice Gliszczynski.
According to him, most of Joon’s cost-saving tactics were all focused on cabin crew salaries and benefits, who were almost 40% cheaper than those working at Air France.
“If this union concession will generate savings for the company over the long term, the integration of Joon’s staff will have a significant cost for the company,” Gliszczynski says.
Rooftop Bar, Personal Assistant, Airline?
In an Op-Ed published by Airways in September 2017, Bernie Leighton said, “I love Air France. Unreasonably so, but Joon just makes me sad. Of course, according to the media material, Joon is electric blue long before being an airline.”
The airline was conceived with the idea of “offering young folks various lifestyle innovations, like Airbnb experiences, Virtual Reality headsets,” and was advertised as “a fashion brand, a rooftop bar, an entertainment channel, a personal assistant … and Joon does flying too!”
But today, clearly, the airline fell short to its mantra.
With Joon out of the way, Gliszczynski challenges Air France’s ability to remain profitable. “The problem of the intrinsic competitiveness of Air France remains therefore posed,” he says.
“The creation of Joon was the result of Air France’s inability to lower its own costs. Joon makes it possible to profitably exploit lines on which Air France loses money and to reopen others which have recently been abandoned for lack of profitability.”
Benjamin Smith has managed not only to negotiate with unions and come to an agreement with them, putting a halt to the crippling strikes that took Air France down the road of operational inviability last year.
With Joon gone away, Smith and company will surely find a more suitable way to move forward as one united entity.