Joon Mumbai! Air France passes the baton in June!

Joon Mumbai! Oh, how poetic. Air France has just announced that they are handing over their Mumbai and Paris flight, to their newly launched millennial-focused airline, Joon!

Currently, Air France operates a flight on the following timings between Mumbai and Paris CDG:

AF218 CDG1040 – 2355BOM 772 D
AF217 BOM0210 – 0735CDG 772 D

This flight almost overlaps with the Jet Airways Mumbai & Paris operation, where the airline has a Joint Venture since last November. Understandably, since both the flights are targetting to meet the morning bank of departures to North America on AF/Delta.

9W124 BOM0255 – 0820CDG 77W D
9W123 CDG1135 – 0045(+1)BOM 77W D

I’ve never understood personally how operating two flights at the same time would help, but now clearly Air France is up-gauging capacity on this route, providing an Airbus A340 on the route in the summer schedule, so I would imagine it is working for them.

Joon Mumbai and Paris

As from 18 June 2018, Air France will entrust its Paris CDG – Mumbai service to Joon. The two cities will be connected with a daily flight operated by Airbus A340. Joon is supposed to have 4 A340s by Spring 2018, however, has none as of now.

Last year, Joon was launched as a new-generation airline for millennials by Air France. As described by Air France then,

Joon is especially aimed at a young working clientele, the millennials (18 to 35 year-olds), whose lifestyles revolve around digital technology. This new brand has been entirely designed to meet their requirements and aspirations, with an authentic and connected offering that stands out in the world of air transport.

Another press release codifying the product stated:

Air France has introduced Joon, a new travel experience crafted to accommodate the modern traveler with an emphasis on flexibility and personalization. The new airline concept aims to evoke the qualities of a rooftop bar and entertainment network. Joon is expected to have 28 aircrafts by 2020, including 10 long-haul Airbus jets.

Joon will offer a free catering in the Business cabin and a new paid option in economy with around 60 snacks. In addition, the YouJoon entertainment channel enables customers to access in-flight streaming on their smartphones, tablet, or laptop. Customers can recharge their batteries with the individual USB port.

The AlloSky Virtual Reality Headset will be available to Business customers on long-haul flights in collaboration with SkyLights. This new generation headset provides high-definition screens and a diopter correction to adapt to everyone’s eyes. 

Here is a video depicting the Joon brand identity. Essentially, cabin crew will wear electric-blue polo shirts and white sneakers.

The timing of the flight stays largely the same:

AF218 CDG1140 – 0005(+1)BOM 343 D
AF217 BOM0155 – 0805CDG 343 D

For dining, Joon will serve a full meal in Business Class. In Premium Economy and Economy class, a full meal and a second catering service will be offered, which is interesting, since Joon intended to sell these meals initially. In addition, customers will be able to discover a selection of organic, natural or gourmet products available for sale from the Joon crews – aperitifs, smoothies, ice-cream, hamburgers, sweet and savoury snacks, and more.

Bottomline

I am not sure what is the intention here. I know IndiGo wants to fly long-haul no-frills in the coming years, but I am not sure why is Air France trying to upend them into a long-haul low-frills flight. The airline already has A340 flights scheduled out of Mumbai, so I am not sure if this is a transfer of the airplane to Joon and hence the operation by Joon, or if Air France really expects Indian customers to have a business class passenger take nicely them being welcomed by T-shirt and sneakers toting flight cabin crew?

What do you make out of the move of Mumbai to Joon? Would you like to fly them? I sure as hell do want to try this one out!

Comments

  1. Even Royal Jordanian is chartering 2 flights from Amman to Mumbai viz 11th April & 15th April’18. It’d be heaven for plane spotting!

  2. I’m sure uncle and aunty from the suburbs of Mumbai will be techno savvy and love the organic natural food designed to make you feel light and fluffy…….

    I’m not sure why people are getting excited….Joon (what a nonsense name and target profile), is nothing but a low cost carrier hiding behind a JV. Give me Jet Airways to Paris any day of the week.

  3. Flight is probably to pick up the bottom of the barrel low yielding passengers and differentiate the service from Jet Airways. Also, as you mentioned, probably also getting ready for competition from Indigo.
    Although, I wonder how they would compete with Indigo with a gas guzzling A340 and flying into expensive airport CDG vs Orly for Indigo. The big plus for them would be connections on Air France from CDG onwards

  4. The idea that these flights are all about TATL connections is a misconception. Rather, India traffic splits about 50-50 North America vs Europe. (You can read the press release from late November when AF-KLM and Jet announced their partnership for Europe). Latin America and North+West Africa are marginal one can assume.

    The schedule move on BOM-CDG-BOM from Jet earlier was odd; perhaps it had something to do with slots, or there are some internal Skyteam politics here. The earlier “reverse” schedule was nice. If it had been a flop, Jet would have changed it long earlier. (The service began in 2014).

    The JOON move is definitely a product downgrade. Seat capacity may not be too different. (There are multiple versions of the 772 so it’s hard to say.)

    I had heard it was Delhi that was actually yield-challenged and might have been better suited for JOON. This was why they left DEL capacity unchanged. I guess AF will keep DEL: mainline because it’s the only daily flight.

    Fundamentally the entire system-wide JOON experiment is strange, and it’s hard to see what AF will gain from all this churn.

    • @Jigjag, my theory is simpler as written in the post. Mumbai was slotted to be an A340 in the SS. With an A340 transfer to Joon the schedule is also transferred to Joon. As for Jet Airways’ slot changes, that wholly had to do with aligning transfer passengers to onwards North American journeys on AF/Delta. Also the fact that the reverse schedule was leaving people with less time to work/play in Paris if they were O&D pax.

      • There is incredible redundancy in the Jet-AF-KLM partnership with both AMS and CDG offering similar connections, and with quite similar schedules to and from BOM. What the partnership lacks is schedule choice. Both BA and Emirates at least offer that option for their India customers. Even Lufthansa partners with Air India on its daytime DEL-FRA flight and overnight return. BTW a similar BOM-FRA service on AI is expected at some point.

        It’s difficult to argue that there was really less time to work/play with BOM daylight departures and arrivals–that’s simply a schedule shift in equal measure both ways. An alternative option could be a ~7:30 am departure from BOM and ~17:00 return from CDG. There are lots of Asian departures from CDG around that time.

        As for the proportion of TATL connecting pax, simply look at the AF-KLM press release at Nov end/Dec start where they state clearly that the split is 50/50.

  5. Well it’s probably to optimise their JV. They probably rationalised that with Jet’s (arguably) full service offer, there is scope to attract a new price sensitive customer- India’s newly affluent middle class. Whether they hit el dorado or sink like the titanic remains to be seen. 9w doesn’t fly to Paris from Delhi so it probably makes sense to retain the full service offering there.

    Totally see your apprehensions about Indian business class passengers being welcomed by Tshirt and sneaker clad crew. Sounds hilarious- Heck I would want to fly them just to film it.

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