The global airline groups seem to be setting up new operations, left, right and centre nowadays. IAG (the owners of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus) set up a long-haul, low-cost carrier called Level, to compete with Norwegian recently.
Now it’s the Air France / KLM Group’s time to do the same, rather strangely named “Joon”. Yes, what an odd name for an airline.
It’s aimed at the millennial crowd, which I (just) consider myself to be part of, given I can still work out how to use Snapchat.
There’s a whole bunch of further information in their press release which is here, including a pretty cheesy YouTube video.
What I find really interesting is that they’re apparently not going to be low-cost – they’re claiming that they will still provide the full Air France service. No details on routes either.
Mostly it seems to me that it’s just an advertising executive’s wet dream, as opposed to a real airline, with a new and exciting market proposition, but perhaps I’m just being cynical?
Apparently this airline has been around since 2009 (since 2003 under a different brand), and is now launching low-cost transatlantic flights from Birmingham and Stansted, to Newark and Boston.
They are planning to operate these with the new A321neo aircraft, with flights starting next April. On the blogosphere, there seem to be a few people saying that they’re going to be using the A321LR variant, however Air Transat (the Canadian airline) will be the first operator in 2019.
What’s interesting about the PrimeraAir product is that their cheapest “Light” fare, includes a lot of extras that airlines such as Level or Norwegian charge extra for. You get:
- 1x Checked bag
- Priority seating
- Name change
- Date change
The cheapest fare that I can find is £227 return which is really exceptionally cheap.
Given that they say “priority seating” is included, the site then tries to sell you seating. A “standard” seat is £25. Odd.
Again, it claims that meals are included, but some of the prices are eye-watering for food – one hopes they’re just as mouthwatering.
They also have a premium economy cabin, as opposed to a proper business class, similar to the likes of Norwegian and Level.
So will I be booking on either of these new airlines. No.
There are some excellent transatlantic deals, in business class, on the legacy carriers, earning frequent flier miles and points, with full back-up when things go wrong, and lie-flat beds for not much more than the price of a Premium Economy return on one of these new carriers. You’re of course sacrificing the time to fly direct, but if you’re going away on holiday, then for me, that’s a price worth paying.