Babies, Gen Xers and baby boomers are all welcome, too. But bring your own avocado toast
Air France has just announced the launch of Joon, a new subsidiary airline that’s targeted at millennial customers. Joon will begin flights within Europe out of Paris this fall, with further flung destinations set to come online next summer. Air France says it wants to capture a market of 18 to 35 year old passengers “whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology,” though it also stresses in its announcement that Joon will not be a budget airline.
It isn’t immediately clear how the airline will be “digitally friendly,” but the reaction to news of a millennial airline has been one of catty bemusement, with some wondering if the tagline is just a fancy way of dressing up a low cost carrier and others mocking the concept altogether.
Will this airline cost more, bring more comfort or just slap on a new sticker on their planes. I as (apperantly) millennial am not impressed
— Hervé (@HerveMaas) July 21, 2017
I don't know what's worse. The idea of this new airline or the fact that im technically a millennial. https://t.co/5eQgPn5G8d
— Chrissy Casanova (@ChrissyCasanov1) July 21, 2017
Is Joon all about spending time in a pressurized steel container with just bearded hipsters drinking craft beer as they snack on granola from mason jars? Air France has released scant information on what its “little sister” carrier actually looks like. The most concrete detail released as yet is that staff uniforms will be designed in electric blue and look like clothing that millennials off duty might wear, including jackets with rolled up sleeves and polo tees.
Beyond that, Joon is so far just a hot air of consultant buzzwords, like ‘punchy, authentic and connected’. It’s not even going to be exclusive to millennials. An Air France spokesperson told Moneyish that Joon is “targeted but not limited” to the under 35 set, with everyone from screaming babies to senior citizens welcome (Maybe affluent members of the latter class will help subsidize poor millennials)
Some travel insiders however, think that if Joon could solve airlines’ conundrum of having essentially become utilities who have to offer all things to all types of people. “There’s a lot of anxiety and discomfort with what travel has become,” says Carolyn Paddock, a New York City based travel expert. She points out how certain airlines accept only electronic boarding passes, while others still offer paper options to check-in at airports. Meanwhile, the in-flight experience varies depending on the aircraft— not all of them come with electric plugs that ever-connected millennials and business travelers crave.
“If you target a certain demographic, you set a standard” for consistency, she says. “This is what you get or you can choose not to come. It solves a lot of problems that face commercial aviation.”
Indeed, it’s not hard to see why Air France is making such a play. A study last year from MMGY Global found that millennials took an average of 7.7 business trips a year— significantly more than their older colleagues. Meanwhile, those between the ages of 18 and 35 spent about $200 billion annually on travel. Luxury hospitality giant Starwood has also found success with its Aloft chain of hotels, launched in 2005 to appeal to younger, hipper travelers. It has more than 120 Aloft branded properties and has plans to double the number.
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