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Air France releases tickets for new ‘millenials’ airline Joon

Air France on Monday unveiled its new lower-cost subsidiary called Joon that will specifically target well-travelled millenials. Tickets went on sale to destinations such as Berlin and Barcelona.

Air France releases tickets for new 'millenials' airline Joon
Image: Air France

Air France on Monday unveiled its new lower-cost subsidiary called Joon that will specifically target well-travelled
millenials.

A new medium-haul service will begin operating from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on December 1st, with long-haul flights to follow in summer 2018.

On Monday company bosses revealed that from December 1st Joon will run flights to 37 flights to Berlin each week, 51 to Barcelona, 28 to Lisbon and three to Porto.

Tickets, which also went on sale on Monday, start from €39 one way, although if passengers want the flexibility of being able to change their ticket then they will have to pay more.

The price includes a snack and one item of hand luggage. If passengers want to check in luggage they will have to pay additional costs.

Air France’s director general Franck Terner said Joon is between a low-cost and classic airline and will included a business class section for its long and medium haul flights.

Those long haul flights are due to begin next summer with tickets due to go on sale in December.

Destinations will include Fortaleza in Brazil and the Seychelles. Three other long haul destinations served by Air France will now be served by Joon.The French carrier first revealed it was to launch a new subsidiary in July after resolving a lengthy dispute between the management and pilots over the establishment of the new airline.

Joon is “especially aimed at a young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35 year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology”, Air France said.

The name was chosen “to illustrate a positive state of mind”, it added.

(Some of Joon's new cabin crew. AFP)

Joon is aimed at helping Air France compete with the increasingly intense competition from budget European carriers such as Easyjet and Gulf airlines such as Emirates.

While Air France's pilots have agreed to support the new subsidiary on condition they will receive the same pay and conditions as on the main airline, the hiring of stewards, hostesses and part of the ground personnel for the new service will be outsourced.

Some 1,000 cabin crew will be hired to work on the airline's 28 planes.

The pilots were initially hostile to the plan, fearing they would be forced to accept lower wages.

In September 2014, they went on strike for two weeks over the expansion of Air France's low-cost European subsidiary Transavia, grounding thousands of flights.

AIR FRANCE

Air France, Hop! to cut 7,580 jobs

Air France management said Friday it planned to eliminate 7,580 jobs at the airline and its regional unit Hop! by the end of 2022 because of the coronavirus crisis.

Air France, Hop! to cut 7,580 jobs
An Air France plane lands at JFK airport in New York. Image: STAN HONDA / AFP

The carrier wants to get rid of 6,560 positions of the 41,000 at Air France, and 1,020 positions of the 2,420 at Hop!, according to a statement issued after meetings between managers and staff representatives.

“For three months, Air France's activity and turnover have plummeted 95 percent, and at the height of the crisis, the company lost 15 million euros a day,” said the group, which anticipated a “very slow” recovery.

The aviation industry has been hammered by the travel restrictions imposed to contain the virus outbreak, with firms worldwide still uncertain when they will be able to get grounded planes back into the air.

Air France said it wanted to begin a “transformation that rests mainly on changing the model of its domestic activity, reorganising its support functions and pursuing the reduction of its external and internal costs”.

The planned job cuts amount to 16 percent of Air France's staff and 40 percent of those at Hop!

With the focus on short-haul flights, management is counting mainly on the non-replacement of retiring workers or voluntary departures and increasing geographic mobility.

However, unions warn that Air France may resort to layoffs for the first time, if not enough staff agree to leave or move to other locations. 

'Crisis is brutal'

Shaken heavily by the coronavirus crisis, like the entire aviation sector, the Air France group launched a reconstruction plan aiming to reduce its loss-making French network by 40 percent through the end of 2021.

“The crisis is brutal and these measures are on an unprecedented scale,” CEO Anne Rigail conceded in a message to employees, a copy of which AFP obtained. They also include, she said, “salary curbs with a freeze on general and individual increases (outside seniority and promotions) for all in 2021 and 2022,” including executives of Air France.

The airline told AFP earlier this week that: “The lasting drop in activity and the economic context due to the COVID-19 crisis require the acceleration of Air France's transformation.”

Air France-KLM posted a loss of 1.8 billion euros in the first quarter alone, and has warned it could be years before operations return to pre-coronavirus levels.

Air France has been offered seven billion euros in emergency loans from the French state or backed by it, while the Dutch government approved a 3.4 billion euro package of bailout loans for KLM last week.

The group joins a long list of airlines that have announced job cuts in recent weeks.

Lufthansa is to slash 22,000 jobs, British Airways 12,000, Delta Air Lines 10,000 and Qantas 6,000.

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