Air France unveils new ‘Millennial’ airline

Devlyn Lalonde

Devlyn Lalonde

“Is this gluten-free?” the voice inquired from the seat behind me on a recent flight. “I’m on a gluten-free diet for the next 30 days so I just want to make sure there’s none in here.” The subject of discussion, a pack of peanuts, the answer to the gentleman’s question, ‘yes’. It was at that moment that I realized that Millennials truly are of a different flying ilk. Indeed, Millennials do travel differently than past generations. Despite having on average 26% less income than the Boomer generation (Statistics Canada: 2016) the Boston Consulting Group found that Millennials were 23% more likely to travel internationally. This is a generation that prioritizes travel over other things and despite demanding the lowest price they still expect their gluten-free, naturally reared, Paleolithic in-flight meals. Quite a tall order for any airline to meet and indeed one you might have thought impossible…until now.

On Thursday, July 20th, 2017 Air France – KLM announced the creation of Joon [June], the airline for the Millennial flyer. In this new division Air France promises its passengers gourmet meals and beverages served with a certain saveur francaise. Even still, the flights will be cheaper than the regular fare and the attendants garbed in the most chic uniforms that international flying regulations allow. Their press release states that they will start medium-haul flights out of the Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris this fall with long-haul flights beginning in the summer of 2018. Caroline Fountain, VP Brand at Air France explains the Joon journey as such;

“We started with our target customer segment, the millennials, to create this new brand that means something to them. Our brief was simple: to find a name to illustrate a positive state of mind. This generation has inspired us a lot: epicurean and connected, they 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. Joon is a brand that carries these values”

Epicurean and connected” well that is definitely one of the most elegant ways I’ve heard someone describe the Millennial generation, but nevertheless, accurate. Air France has created a tall order for themselves and cutting prices while increasing their service offering will be a thin tightrope to walk. If there is anything that the young gluten-free gentleman has taught me, it’s that there definitely seems to be a market but as for exactly how big it is, is yet to be seen. Air France is betting around €40 million ($46 million CAD) on this new project and only the future will tell if this is a stroke of genius or another Marriott desk fiasco.

Joon brand video:

Related Reading: The surprising source Millennials are turning to for travel money

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