It’s been a year since Air France started service under the ‘Joon’ brand. A separate airline with lower labor costs is one thing. 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 it’s 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 late 50s white males, 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 isn’t a moron. So I was surprised to see the airline promoting a new seating option similar to Air New Zealand’s Skycouch a week ago instead of shutting the thing down.
Now, however, word leaks that Air France is looking to put Joon out of its misery.
Air France-KLM is mulling the closure of Joon, its newest airline brand, company sources told Reuters, in an about-face that could help new boss Ben Smith address the chronic underperformance of the main Air France business.
The discussion about scrapping Joon, which has not been decided, may be a sign of the Canadian chief executive’s determination to tackle weak Air France profitability head-on rather than mitigate it with lower-cost secondary offerings, as many of his predecessors have tried and failed to do.
The new CEO “has made clear he doesn’t understand the positioning or identity of Joon,” one Air France source said. “It’s a question he’s raised internally, several times.”
According to France’s Le Figaro the decision to shut down Joon has already been made.
Joon isn’t a solution to Air France profitability. It’s a complication, and one that’s a thorn in the side of the airline’s unions. He could cut a deal that kills Joon, which they ought to do anyway, and uses that as a bargaining chip with Air France’s pilots.