RIP Joon

While the death of Joon has been announced for some time, concordant information seems to confirm that Ben Smith has decided to put an end to the “new generation travel by Air France” initiative, since this is how the airline introduced itself to its customers. The opportunity for TravelGuys to come back on the reasons of a failure that we had announced.

Joon is profitable. And that’s it.

Let’s make one thing clear: if Joon is a failure, it’s not a financial failure and that’s something. After one year of activity the airline was profitable, a profitability obtained at the price of hard working conditions and hiring for stewarts and flight attendants, the pilots having not made any concession in the matter. At least there will be no bill to settle, even if in retrospect we will regret the costs of marketing and painting the aircrafts, which we could have done without.

If Joon is not a failure as such, the airline was a burden for the Air France brand

Joon: an idea that hurts the Air France brand

Joon’s problem was primarily marketing: the Air France “nebula” is illegible for the customer with the multiplication of brands in recent years. Ben Smith has clearly decided to reposition Air France on the premium and the so-called “high contribution” customers and Joon was a bit of a blot on the landscape because it was a product that the customer suffered more than he chose.

Concretely speaking, the customer has the choice to fly premium or low-cost (even if Joon was more a hybrid than a low-cost). To fly on Air France or Transavia on the destinations operated by the two airlines or on a competing low-cost airline. The problem with Joon was that it was a downgraded product imposed on the customer.This Flight-Report study shows it very well: the customer does not refuse low cost, but he refuses that a premium airline does not give him the choice. Hence the low rating of Joon, which nevertheless offers a better “hard product” than many of the airlines ranked ahead of them.

On the other hand, the vagueness of the positioning, neither low-cost nor premium, the vague concept of an airline for “millenials” (of course Teheran and the Seychelles are destinations for millenials…) meant that the promise was not clear on the product and that in the end we could only be disappointed

Not that the BOB (buy on board) offer was of poor quality but that the very idea of BOB with tickets whose price was similar to “real” Air France was not accepted by customers. The second pillar of Joon’s profitability was therefore undermined. (Note that the food purchased on board was not charged by Joon but …..Servair Joon).

And having also tested the medium-haul business service we can only say that it was light to say the least and not worth the price of the ticket.

What to keep from Joon ? The crews!

Joon is nothing more than the failure of a half-hearted attempt at low-costization of the whole of Air France’s medium-haul network, which did not bear its name. Neither the customers who regretted the lack of service nor the Air France staff who saw their network gradually being swallowed up by a cousin with worse services will regret it.

However, not everything is black and at Travelguys we have always unanimously praised the attitude and helpfulness of the Joon cabin crew, who brought a breath of fresh air into the cabins, far from the jaded or even bitter behavior that is still too often observed in the parent airline. We just hope that by leaving polo shirts and Stan Smiths for a more conventional uniform they don’t lose that freshness and desire to do well.

Back to square one

So we are back to square one, with the inextricable problem of Air France’s profitability once again. It will be necessary to rehire the cabin crew at Air France…at Air France salaries, which means finding other variables of profitability. When you look at the prices charged from Paris by the competition (and in particular Lufthansa), raising prices is not an option either, unless there is a significant change in the product, whose upmarket status had fallen by the wayside after Alexandre de Juniac’s departure.

But as Ben Smith seems to walk on water since his arrival we want to believe it.

Photo : Shutterstock.com

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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