For as long as I can remember Air France mainline has operated the Manchester route.
Air France considers both it and London Heathrow to be its prime UK destinations. It sees them as entry points onto its long-haul network at Paris CDG.
But in a change of tack Air France has announced that it will be handing over the Paris CDG-Manchester route to its trendy subsidiary Joon. Air France describes Joon as offering a “new travel experience”.
Joon will take over the Manchester route on March 31 next year. It will operate three flights daily using a mixture of 174-seater A320s and 212-seater A321s.
A further four flights on this route are operated by Flybe under a codeshare arrangement. Flybe will be using smaller jet and turboprop aircraft. Flybe is one-class and passengers must pay extra for food and drinks.
Joon operates two-class flights with free catering and drinks in business class. But economy passengers will now have to pay for food and drinks.
Besides Air France wanting to create something more in tune with millennials’ tastes there is no escaping the fact that Joon is a way for Air France to lower its costs. Joon staff have different salary scales to their counterparts at Air France mainline.
Manchester is not the only short route being transferred to Joon.
Other European destinations for Joon will be Madrid, Stockholm and Prague. All start from the same date.
And Joon will be taking over two additional long-haul destinations: Saint Martin (Netherlands Antilles) and Quito (Equador).