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Joon aircraft lined up on the ramp at Paris-CDG (Photo: Air France)

Joon Begins Baobab Juice Powered Operations from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

Millennial-focused airline Joon began operations on Friday from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport. The brainchild of Air France/KLM, Joon is geared towards the always-connected younger flyer with power available at every seat and free Wi-Fi coming next year.

Joon begins their baobab juice powered operations with a fleet of Airbus A320s and A321s. These aircraft will be deployed on several routes to some of the hipper locations throughout Europe. Barcelona, Spain will see 51 weekly flights and Berlin will see 37 weekly flights.

Crew members show off their Joon uniforms (Photo: Air France)

Rounding up the initial route map will be flights to two cities in Portugal, Lisbon, and Porto. Lisbon will see 28 weekly flights and Porto just three weekly flights.

2018 Route Expansions

From March to May of 2018 the airline will expand their network further as follows:

March Expansion:

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

April Expansion:

Cape Town, South Africa- 3 weekly flights

Tehran, Iran- 3 weekly flights

May Expansion:

Fortaleza, Brazil- 2 weekly flights

The long-haul routes will be flown by Airbus A340s and will eventually be phased out and replaced with Airbus A350 aircraft in 2019.

Except for the European destinations, the intercontinental destinations are unusual picks. Many of these destinations will not necessarily be new routes but instead will be replacements of existing flights currently operated by Air France.

Joon’s Puzzling Existence

This leads to further confusion as to what Joon really is. Is the airline a low-cost alternative to Air France or is it a completely new brand for the younger flyer? It’s a bit of both, with one executive stating that the airline is a lab for experiments in marketing and pricing.

While attempting to appeal to the younger crowd by offering organic snacks and free Wi-Fi onboard, Air France/KLM is operating the airline at a slightly lower cost than it would for its own aircraft.

Though pilots for Joon are being paid at the same as at Air France, cabin crew costs will decrease by as much as 40 percent allowing the airline to reduce overall expenses by 18 percent.

Ribbon cutting on Joon’s launch day (Photo: Air France)

This is likely the best Air France could get out of the unions after a failed attempt at transitioning short-haul and domestic service to the company’s low-cost and lower paid Dutch subsidiary, Transavia. That attempt last year ended up with pilots going on strike to protest the low wages for Transavia.

Since Joon is replacing some existing Air France routes it leads one to believe that the more important goal of the airline is to cut costs on highly competitive or low yield routes with the millennial appeal playing a secondary role.

Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, aptly described Joon as a “hybrid” airline rather than a “very low-cost operation.”

Hemal Gosai
Hemal Gosai
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