AirFlair: Meet JOON, Air France’s New Airline for the Millennial Crowd
by Paul Thompson
Air France originally announced last year that they were working to create a low-cost carrier (LCC), which seems to be all the rage these days. Airlines like Lufthansa and British Airways each have low-cost spinoffs, and some airlines are completely based on the low-cost market, such as Norwegian and WOW. But Air France approached the market with a new focus — one pointed toward the Millennial Generation.
JOON isn’t a French word, but jeune translates to “young” in English. As you can see, JOON’s first YouTube video promotes social media, check-ins, and fashion, which are things in which the youngest generation of independent travelers holds a strong interest. JOON even used Pinterest to show off their uniform concepts. Parent company Air France said JOON “will break the mold, dressing cabin crew like customers.” Could that make it hard to distinguish who works for the airline? Time will tell.
Air France describes JOON like this: “JOON is the newest member of the Air France family, designed for today’s generation: spontaneous, keen on new experiences and absolutely digital. An impromptu city break or a fun roadtrip halfway around the world? A co-working session only 2 hours away from Paris, or a sunny getaway? JOON knows how to please those for whom travel is part of their everyday life. JOON is more than just an airline: it provides a complete, innovative and offbeat experience to those who believe travel extends beyond the aircraft.”
Air France said straight up that JOON is for the 18 to 35 year-old demographic, “whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology.” So at the very least, travelers should expect some robust Wi-Fi that will allow Netflix streaming. Will each seat have on-demand video screens like many airlines? It’s only a guess at this point, but hopefully there will be charging outlets to juice up the devices we all travel with these days.
Here in the US, a good comparison to JOON would be Virgin America, who has always been known as a hip and trendy brand that marketed itself to a particular demographic of young and savvy traveler. Although Virgin America is in the process of being merged into Alaska Airlines, it remains an outlier in the industry when compared to more traditional airlines such as American, Delta, and United.
No routes or dates have been announced for JOON to launch service, but their website says medium length flights will begin “this fall” from Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, with longer flights beginning next year. JOON promises more details about its development in September, so stay tuned!
Follow Paul on Twitter @flyingphotog
Photos courtesy of Air France