Air France leans toward pulling plug on Joon

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Joon, the Air France subsidiary promoted as a hip new airline for millennials, appears to be on the verge of closure, just 13 months after launch.

"After much discussion with employees and customers alike, and in consultation with the unions, Air France has decided to launch a project studying the future of the Joon brand and the integration of Joon employees and aircraft into Air France," Joon's parent said Thursday as part of a statement about the signing of a new labor agreement with flight attendants.

"Despite the many positive impacts of Joon, in particular the invaluable contribution of the teams at Joon who launched the company and worked with passion and dedication, the brand was difficult to understand from the outset for customers, for employees, for markets and for investors."

Air France developed Joon primarily to compete against Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar on medium- and long-haul routes. Based in Paris, the carrier flies to 22 destinations but none in North America. 

Air France had hoped to capitalize on Joon having a lower cost structure than Air France. But in Thursday's statement, the company said Joon's existence had created complexity and weakened the Air France brand. 

All Joon flights will be operated by Joon until an examination of the brand's future is completed.

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