French Airline Company to End the Operations of Its Subsidiary

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. go head to head / goʊ hɛd tuː hɛd / (idiom) – to compete with someone or something

    The new company is expected to go head to head against popular brands.

  2. clientele / ˌklajənˈtɛl / (n) – a business’ or a company’s group of consumers

    The pet café attracts a lot of young clientele.

  3. far-fetched / ˈfɑɚˈfɛtʃt / (adj) – describing something unlikely

    I found his proposal far-fetched because it would involve a lot of expenses.

  4. at the expense of (someone/something) / æt ði ɪkˈspɛns ʌv / (idiom) – to someone's or something’s disadvantage

    Big shopping malls succeeded at the expense of small local businesses.

  5. integrate  / ˈɪntəˌgreɪt / (v) – to make something a part of a whole

    The new employee was integrated into our department.


Read the text below.

Air France announced its plans to shut down its subsidiary airline called Joon after roughly a year of operations.

The French flag carrier first introduced Joon in July 2017. The subsidiary airline was created so that Air France could go head to head against both high-end and low-end competitors.  At present, Joon has 16 airplanes and flies from Paris to a number of other European cities, such as Berlin and Lisbon.

Joon was branded and marketed as a less costly option to the millennial clientele. Air France hoped that Joon’s young and fashionable cabin crew, advanced in-flight services, and healthier meal options would appeal to the subsidiary’s target market.

However, Air France recently decided to end Joon’s operations, blaming the subsidiary’s branding as a reason for the termination. Air France explained that Joon’s branding was confusing to its clients, employees, investors, and even the airline market. Analysts agreed, noting that Joon’s marketing techniques were similar to Air France’s, so it was difficult to differentiate the two.

Analysts also criticized Joon’s concept, stating that the idea of a lower cost airline is far-fetched.  

In addition, Joon offered perks not found on budget airplanes. These benefits came at the expense of its employees, who received salaries that were lower than those of their Air France counterparts. Joon’s employees were also required to follow work policies that were different from Air France’s. These issues raised concerns among labor unions.

Following the announcement of Joon’s shutdown, Air France decided to integrate Joon’s employees and aircraft into its system. In a press release, Air France assured that the action will benefit the company as it can help unify its brand, products, and aircraft.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Air France’s decision to integrate Joon’s employees and aircraft into its system is a good idea? Why or why not?
• What do you think Air France could have done to prevent Joon from shutting down? Discuss.

Discussion B

• As a consumer, how important is a company’s branding to you? Explain.
• In your opinion, what should companies do to ensure effective branding?