The choice of Air France to call its new low-cost airline Joon challenges. First of all, because at the launch of the project last November 3, Jean-Marc Janaillac, the CEO of Air France-KLM, had indicated in an interview with Echoes that the mark "Will AF or Air France in its title". Without explanation, the management has changed its tune to choose a qualified name of "Short, hard-hitting and international". Rather than add in the name of this new company something in the style «By Air France» or "For Air France" that may seem for some old-fashioned today, the choice has been made to recall filiation to Air France by calligraphy or " the accent » at the end of the logo.
If a name without reference to Air France should not pose a problem on the short and medium-haul network where the consumer is accustomed with low-cost to the emergence of new brands, it may be different on long-haul flights. couriers, where the choice of the brand "Joon" de facto removes the advantage of Frenchness brought by the Air France brand.
Synonym of luxury, this Frenchness is a real asset on many foreign markets – especially in Asia – that Joon is intended to serve to regain market share on Gulf companies. The absence of this reference to France in the name and perspective of a product of very good quality certainly but less luxurious, less chic or less " sophisticated "(In the good sense of the term) that that of the parent company also raise questions in the strategy of upmarketing orchestrated by Air France for 5 years.
"On the long haul, it will be necessary in foreign countries to ensure that this crossing with France is preserved. It will take a lot of marketing, advertising and communication, "says a connoisseur of the company.
Moreover, Joon will not essentially be a parallel company to Air France as Level or Eurowings, the subsidiaries of IAG and Lufthansa may be, but will replace it on ultra deficit lines or it has abandoned not due to a lack of passengers due to a lack of confidence on the part of the company (on the contrary, the planes are full) or at prices that are too high, but because of operating costs that are too high.
As a result, on long-haul routes where passengers are waiting for passengers who choose Air France, the company will propose a different company tomorrow, with a product designed to attract the Millennials, this generation of 18- 35 years, hyper connected, and whose name "Joon" can, in some ways, refer to a low-cost, although it will not be, neither in the product nor in the proposed prices. Will passengers flying today on Air France still stay on Joon tomorrow? Or will they be tempted to go elsewhere? Joon can certainly attract a new clientele that it is difficult to capture today, but it also takes the risk of losing the customer who loves the product and the brand Air France.
Joon out of step with the move upmarket of Air France?
As we know, the ideal for Air France would have been to maintain the Air France product on its entire network, but the continuation of the move upmarket, initiated in recent years, was accompanied by the productivity measures that are taking place. in the Transfom Plan (2012-2014) but not in the Perfom Plan that was supposed to follow. It is also because the efforts were impossible to achieve within the parent company that the management is trying to place them in this new company which, obviously, could not have the same position as Air France.
"There is a gap with the move upmarket, but it must be remembered that the creation of Boost was not motivated by commercial needs, but by the need for competitiveness," says a good internal source.
Suddenly, it is with the brand Joon and a less high-end product than that of Air France management intends to resume the offensive on the Gulf companies, known for the quality of their product that offsets the disadvantage of a connecting flight.
Joon is not a low-cost
There is finally a big difference with IAG and Lufthansa and Air Caraïbes, including the brands of their "low cost" company, Level, Eurowings and French Blue (which for the record inscribes France in its name, even if it is in English), do not refer to the parent company in the name. But there is a big difference. These three companies have a different positioning than Joon's. They are low-cost companies, whose brand, for once, should avoid references to the parent company. However, Joon is not a low-cost but a low-cost company compared to Air France with a product to the standards of Air France.
"It will not be a low cost company, as it will offer a two-class service, with an economy class and a business class, roughly equivalent to those of Air France. Except that the business class berth seats will not all offer direct access (to the corridor NDLR), unlike the cabin Best of Air France, "explained in fact to Echos Jean-Marc Janaillac during the presentation of the project.
So it's not the same thing.