Air France-KLM’s Smith calls to shut down Joon
Air France-KLM Group is planning to shut down Joon
Jan 14, 2019: Air France-KLM Group is planning to shut down Joon, the airline it launched a year ago to woo young adults.
The company said in a statement that Air France signed an agreement with unions representing cabin crew to study the discontinuation of Joon. The lower-cost airline, its 13 aircraft and 600 cabin crew will be integrated into Air France’s fleet.
Joon, which means ‘young’, aimed to win over millennials with lower fares, organic food offerings and video streaming. Instead, the brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, employees, markets and investors, the Paris-based airline stated.
The decision marks as one of the first major strategic moves by Air France-KLM CEO Ben Smith, the former Air Canada executive who took over in September. After reaching a landmark deal with French unions by granting them a pay raise, he must also address tensions between the French unit and its more profitable Dutch counterpart, KLM, while figuring out how to better compete with lower-cost rivals like EasyJet Plc and Ryanair Holdings Plc.
Joon was planning to expand its fleet to 28 aircraft by 2020, including new Airbus A350s. Air France will be able to ensure a smooth transition of the Airbus A350, currently on order, to the Air France fleet with a more economical cabin configuration.
Joon was the brain child of Smith’s predecessor Jean-Marc Janaillac, who resigned over a pay conflict with French unions.