Joon celebrates its first anniversary, and maybe the last
Joon could die young. Air France management board may consider putting an end to its millennial-focused subsidiary, launched just a year ago, the French media reports. The flag carrier denies the information.
It was Le Figaro that reported first on November 29, 2018, that Benjamin Smith, the new CEO of Air France, decided to put an end to Joon. Created a year ago (December 1, 2018) by the former management team, the company was supposed to revitalize the routes where Air France is at a loss, by offering lower costs than its parent airline. The target was to appeal to the “millennial generation”. To cut prices, the company employs cabin personnel with reduced wages. A flight attendant from Joon costs 40% less than its equivalent at Air France.
The pilots, however, are the same as Air France. The 15% reduction of cost in their wages is obtained by a common effort of all Air France pilots, a 1.5% participation that allowed the company to generate €40 millions this first year. Among other things, pilots had to give up one day of rest per month. And the model seems to be working, with operating costs per flight being reduced by 14 % to 18 % when compared to the parent company.
But Ben Smith wants to simplify the French flag carrier. Air France controls three additional brands: Transavia, Hop! and Joon. In an attempt to rationalize the company’s operations, two hypotheses are currently being discussed, according to Le Monde: Joon could either be integrated into Air France, but this would mean a raise for all the cabin crew to the level of their Air France’s colleagues, or it could join Transavia, the low-cost brand of the group.
However, if Joon were to disappear, the SNPL, the main pilot union of Air France, would ask for reimbursement of their effort. “The pilots of Air France have given 40 million euros a year to be in the cockpits of Joon. If Joon closes, we will recover this investment,” said a member of the SNPL to La Tribune.
Air France management board denied that Joon would simply be put to a stop. Recruitment to expand the brand is still ongoing, with a goal of 700 cabin employees by 2019, a 200 increase compared to the current workforce. After Air France A380 fleet reduction and the possible disappearance of the Joon brand, Benjamin Smith has yet to present his development plan for the airline. As for Hop!, the union representatives of the regional carrier are to meet with the CEO on January 9, 2018.