According to reports, Air France is about to close its its low-cost carrier, Joon.
Joon was announced in the summer of 2017, and officially took off in autumn of the same year, operating medium-haul flights out of Paris-Charles de Gaulle. The airline currently serves 14 European destinations via short-haul flights, to places including Stockholm, Madrid, and Prague.
Promising fares to Europe from as low as €49, Air France created Joon as a means to attract younger, millennial travellers, who, according to Caroline Fontaine, VP brand at Air France, "...are opportunistic in a positive sense of the word as they know how to enjoy every moment and are in search of quality experiences that they want to share with others."
However, despite the many positive impacts of Joon, in particular the invaluable contribution of the teams at Joon who launched the company and worked with passion and dedication, the brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, for employees, for markets and for investors.
After the salary agreement signed on Oct. 19, 2018 by the majority of Air France labour groups, representing 76 per cent of the votes cast in the last elections, Benjamin Smith, CEO of Air France-KLM, continued discussions with these social partners as part of their categorical negotiations.
A new agreement has been signed between Air France and its cabin crew, with unanimous support from the three representative cabin crew unions at Air France – SNPNC, UNAC, and UNSA-PNC.
This signature successfully concludes the categorical discussions held over the past several weeks with representatives of commercial flight crews.
“I am very pleased with this new balanced agreement,” said Smith, “which represents the successful conclusion of the categorical discussions with our cabin crew. Working together with SNPNC, UNAC, and UNSA-PNC, we were able to resolve many concerns of our cabin crew, while simultaneously working to align their interests with Air France. With this balanced agreement, I hope to see improved trust and fruitful dialogue between Air France and our employees, as I firmly believe that we must have employee buy in and support in order to truly become a global leader.”
Improvements and simplification
This balanced agreement represents a major step towards ensuring a strong future for flight attendants at Air France, as well as rebuilding the trust and confidence between cabin crew and the company's management.
This agreement also improves the working conditions of cabin crew by resolving a number of their concerns. In turn Air France will be able to deliver better service to our customers, elevating the position of Air France in a competitive global marketplace.
After much discussion with employees and customers alike, and in consultation with the unions, Air France has decided to launch a project studying the future of the Joon brand and the integration of Joon employees and aircraft into Air France.
The plurality of brands in the marketplace has created much complexity and unfortunately weakened the power of the Air France brand.
Through integration, Air France would see many benefits thanks to fleet, brand, and product harmonisation. Managing the operation would be improved through a common fleet of aircraft. Air France will also 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.
All Joon flights currently sold or for sale would of course be operated by Joon until the project is completed, and then taken over by Air France.
The simplification of the brand portfolio, while capitalising on the Air France mother brand, is an undeniable asset for our employees, our customers, and indeed all stake holders. It would also enable Air France to complete this integration without impacting the efficiency of the Air France-KLM Group.