The new French flying lifestyle is expanding. Joon, the Air France subsidiary that isn’t really an airline targeting millennials regardless of how many times the company repeats that ridiculous marketing shtick, announced additional routes this morning for both the short-haul and long-haul portions of its network. The news comes on the eve of Joon’s first flights; service launches on 1 December 2018 from the Air France hub at Paris-CDG.
The short-haul network will add Rome, Naples, Oslo and Istanbul to the map on 25 March 2018. These routes join Barcelona, Berlin, Lisbon and Porto launching tomorrow.
All eight routes target what are generally lower-yielding leisure destinations, generally with high competition from Low Cost Carriers. Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian or Vueling have significant operations or a base at most of those airports. In that sense the shift to the Joon product makes sense. Inflight meals shift from free to paid and the lower crew costs should help Air France better compete in those markets.
One mildly amusing bit is that Naples is not included on the animated graphic the company produced. Whoopsie.
For the long-haul network the operation is adding another three routes, though two are mid-haul at best. Tehran, Cairo and Cape Town are now on the map, joining Fortaleza, Brazil and Mahe, Seychelles. Similar to the missing Naples in the short-haul announcement tweet the long-haul announcement calls out “Malé” rather than “Mahé” for the name of the destination in the Seychelles. Whoopsie, again.
Also similar to the short-haul announcements these three new routes mostly make sense. Cairo is spectacularly low-yielding right now; it is the place to seek out cheap premium cabin deals. Cape Town is historically a leisure operation compared to Johannesburg. Tehran is a harder one to figure out. Traditionally it is more of a business destination but perhaps there’s a shift in traffic flows afoot. In recent months other carriers have been competing somewhat aggressively on fares, particularly from Tehran to the USA, though traffic volumes there will be light.
The on-board product is pretty much exactly as advertised. It is a tight squeeze in coach but no worse than anything else flying. Passengers get USB charging at their seat from a product that looks spectacularly similar to the digEcor/IFPL kit installing on AirAsia in its Mirus seats.
Streaming video content is available for passengers as well, though no proper inflight connectivity solution yet.
There’s a business class product, too.
— Air France Newsroom (@AFnewsroom) November 30, 2017
So, do you Joon??