Millennial Airline Joon Adding Flights To Cairo, Tehran, And More

Filed Under: Air France

Back in July Air France revealed the details of Joon, their confusing new airline targeted at millennials. Joon will be based at Paris Charles de Gaulle, and will begin operating flights as of tomorrow.

The airline will initially operate flights to the following destinations using A320s and A321s:

  • Barcelona, Spain (51 weekly flights)
  • Berlin, Germany (37 weekly flights)
  • Lisbon, Portugal (28 weekly flights)
  • Porto, Portugal (3 weekly flights)

Well, Joon has now revealed their next destinations, which launch as of March 25, 2018:

  • Cairo, Egypt (7 weekly flights)
  • Istanbul, Turkey (7 weekly flights)
  • Naples, Italy (14 weekly flights)
  • Oslo, Norway (18 weekly flights)
  • Rome, Italy (49 weekly flights)

Then in early April they’ll launch flights to the following destinations:

  • Cape Town, South Africa (3 weekly flights)
  • Tehran, Iran (3 weekly flights)

The short-haul flights will be flown by A320s and A321s, while their longhaul routes will initially be flown by A340s, and eventually will also be flown by some A350s. Maybe it’s just me, but when I think of destinations frequented by millennials, Cairo and Tehran aren’t the first ones to come to mind.

At that point their route network will look as follows:

This is just such a confused airline. While other airlines are introducing ultra low cost carriers, Joon is an airline with inefficient planes (including A340s), pilots that are paid the same as on Air France mainline, and surprisingly limited fees. Furthermore, they’re not using the airline to start new routes, but are largely using it to replace existing flights that are presently operated by Air France.

Their unique proposition seems to be that their flight attendants wear sneakers, that they have virtual reality headsets in longhaul business class, and that about 20% of their buy on board snacks are organic.

Joon A320 cabin

So what’s in it for Air France? They were able to get this concept past their flight attendant union, meaning they were able to hire flight attendants under a lower pay scale, which saves them some money. But is that really worth starting a new airline over, and especially one that isn’t otherwise really differentiated?

Here’s a video about the first Joon A320 being reconfigured:

As Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG (the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, etc.) was quoted as saying in a Bloomberg article:

IAG CEO Willie Walsh said Joon was a “hybrid” rather than “a very low-cost operation,” adding: “I’m not sure what Air France is doing there.”

I’m with you, Willie…

  1. Are they replacing all the AF flights on the destinations they fly to? As in, all BCN flights? And isn’t that a weird way to target millennials, if everyone going to BCN – and other cities – has to fly Joon? It really makes no sense. But Song and Ted worked, so why not in France?

  2. Watching that video just made me realize how horribly tedious reconfiguring an aircraft must be. Almost an infinite number of tiny parts that I’m sure need to all be double and triple checked for safety… The one aspect of aviation that does not interest me at all.

  3. @Neil—Did Sond and Ted really work? I wasn’t paying attention, but assumed that their disappearance meant they’d failed.

    Even that reconfiguration twit-vid was boring. Are USB ports “millennial”?

  4. “Joon” means “dear” in Farsi. The airline will be quite a hit amongst Iranians with this endearing name.

  5. Thanks for the write-up, my first introduction to Joon was by pricing out PIT->CDG->TXL fares on Delta/AF and never gave it another thought. Now I sort of want to fly this itinerary to see what AF thinks French Millennials like.

  6. They appear to be taking a page out of the us economic hustling handbook. This will fail along with Song, ATA, etc….folks never learn nor have historical perspectives/narratives.

  7. Fortaleza and Seychelles are new
    I see Caribbean routes moving to Joon
    As far as I’m aware , the a340 will be replaced with the A350s They’ve ordered 21 and delivery commences in 2019
    They also
    Agree it will be confusing Joon doesn’t have its own website
    They also have the Skyteam logo , customers benefit from frequent flier points .. so the only difference is the branding , uniform and food offering + cabin crew not employed by Air France

  8. They say they are targeted at millennials but they are just replacing AF existing flights ( LIS for example) so no one on that route is actively choosing Joon, it’s just replaced AF.
    Don’t get it at all. It’s not using the newest fuel efficient planes, it’s all hand me downs from AF including the pilots. A USB is the only new addition. Hopeless. And bizarre destination choices too!

  9. I have a feeling the Cairo flight will replace Air France’s current flight which is operated by a 787. KLM pulled out of Cairo post revolution time and most other European carriers operate 737s to Cairo.

  10. Because Tehran, Oslo, and Naples scream price-conscious millenial traveler…

    Honestly though, I can’t see why AF continues to push forward with this, when the entire concept and brand has become a running joke in most media at this point. USB ports and onboard WiFi are expected amenities for all age groups and the VR headsets sound tedious, stupid, and like they would induce airsickness.

    It’s almost tempting to believe this is all one vast and involved piece of (very French) performance art.

  11. What’s in it for Air France. Lower paid cabin crew, no SkyTeam benefits or miles for other SkyTeam programs, no free food. it’s just like SilkAir, Thai Smile, etc., cost cutting measure that hurts FFs the most.

  12. So basically AF is doing the exact same thing AC did with Rouge: introducing a new brand on existing destinations with lower quality of service, denser aircraft, same/higher fare. Bad news overall.

  13. Why when you think about millennials, Tehran does not come to your mind among the most attractive destinations? Typical stupid American …

  14. Do not try to figure Joon out… 80% of all Air France staff sees it as a ludicrous idea which only has ONE determining feature… that the different AF unions have signed out on it. There is no identity (serious I mean), no real target, no real concept, not a coherent set of aircraft or destinations… which all comes up to the fact that there cannot be any policy. It will last one year, maybe two, depending on how much money headquarters are prepared to lose. It will never make on euro in profits, which probably explains why the method to account for those virtual profits has never been defined. In the past 30 years, Air France has not been short of such charades (purchase of UTA at top value, investment in Alitalia, etc…) but this is probably the looniest of all.

    So my flight next month to Lisbon will be on Joon instead of Air France. Does it make me a Millenial ? HA…….

  15. Being a French millennial.. I am actually excited about it. Air France already has a low cost product and this is just a nice way to rebrand some routes… I’d rather have a fresh smoothie than a coke or alcohol while flying….
    While the Seychelles are not the most “millennial destination”, and the timing isn’t great for Cairo and Istanbul… Cap Town and Teheran are great picks. Teheran is super up and coming, and tourism is booming… And you can get a visa on arrival apparently… so ill be considering going in spring . It’s nice that they didn’t add just another Paris-NYC or Paris-Montréal….

  16. “Sometimes you cry”, good choice of a song! LOL

    Anyway, France is known for its lack of practicality and endless bureaucracy. I’m not surprised to see such irrelevant and unnecessary enterprise.

  17. Air France / KLM altogether with Gol Airlines are doing something that might prove clever in the near future. They chose FOR as a northeast hub in Brazil. So there will be flights from JOON and for KLM (if I am not mistaken, Joon with 2 or 3 weekly and KLM with 5 weekly). Then Gol will make the onwards connection to Brazil with an efficient schedule to suit these flights.
    There are some rumors of Delta adding a flight from ATL as well and GOL starting LIS and MCO as soon as they get their 737MAX.

    We’ll have to wait and see.

  18. Sounds an awful lot like air Canada’s Rouge. It is primarily used on lowe business class yield routes but old crappy jam packed planes and a successful run around the flight attendants union. If you have flown it you have been Rouged. Oh and their claim to fame was hats. Google Rouge hats. Hilarious.

  19. Having just been to Iran I can assure you that there are a LOT of young French people visiting there right now! It’s the nr. 1 hip location to travel right now, especially for those eat it avocado toast and looking for that ‘off the beaten track destination. They issue visas on arrival for 30 days meanwhile for almost all European counties, so it’s easy to get in and out.
    So yeah, it actually kinda makes sense..
    To sad it will take a long time for you guys until you can visit.. it’s a fascinating country in any aspect!

  20. If you think Tehran isn’t a place millenials would want to go you’re an ignorant fool.

    As to the people whinging about how non millenials will need to use it too as it’s taking over routes, there is a distinct difference between targetting and limiting.

  21. @Laurel @JamesP, that is the first thing I thought as well..sounds just like silkair, rouge, Thai smile..just a way for full service airlines to reduce the quality without reducing the price, and sell tickets without (overtly) distinguishing that it is a different airline with smaller planes, no IFE, less food, booze etc..basically selling a low cost carrier flight as full service. While the difference is not always so extreme…a Singapore airlines flight with two sectors with one operated by an SQ 777 and one by an Silkair 737 costs the same as a flight with both sectors operated by an SQ 777. While silk air offers (sub par) food, there is no IFE, very limited booze, smaller less comfortable planes etc…yet these are still sold as a “Singapore airlines” flight operated by silk air and priced as such.
    And FWIW, as some others have commented..I am a millennial (though an Aussie/US one, not French) and Tehran is definitely on my radar..have heard nothing but great things and definitely plan to visit!

  22. @Greg.

    Not sure about what you smoke but may I have some ? Nazi Germany too was a popular tourist destination in 1938. Do people ever learn ?

    You, by the way, forgot to mention that the Iranian Airport Visa on Arrival i also valid for North Korea (Pyongyang a future Joon destination ?)

  23. In Farsi, the language of Persians, “joon” means dear and is a term of endearment. I think it is a great fit.

    Many Iranians fled to France after the revolution in 1979 and those generations afterwards – while French by nationality, are Iranian by culture. Their kids are having kids now and if they still have family in Iran – will fly into Tehran and then go elsewhere to visit family (Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashad….) . It will be interesting to see what the loads are like around the Persian New Year in the third week of March.

    And avocados are sold in Iran and the bread is outstanding, so who wouldn’t want to visit Iran?

  24. I suspect it’s a long term war of attrition with the unions. Moving the goal post by redefining the operating landscape, and hollowing out the culture of the organisation to minimise resistance for future changes.

  25. Yes to Big G and James P for comments like this… sounds exactly right:

    “So basically AF is doing the exact same thing AC did with Rouge: introducing a new brand on existing destinations with lower quality of service, denser aircraft, same/higher fare. Bad news overall.”

    #rougehats #avocadotoast

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