Air France tries fares under $50 to lure more millennials aboard

Key Points
  • Air France's new airline starts operating in December.
  • Joon is aimed at millennial travelers.
  • Airfares start at around $45 for travel within Europe.
CEO Jean-Michel Mathieu poses during the launching of Joon, the new lower-cost airline subsidiary of Air France in Paris, France, September 25, 2017.
Charles Platiau | Reuters

Air France thinks sneaker-clad flight attendants and organic food are the key to filling its planes with younger travelers, but low prices are more likely to do the trick.

The French arm of Franco-Dutch company Air France-KLM on Monday launched its lower-cost airline, called Joon, which it said is aimed at millennial travelers.

Joon's one-way fares start at 39 euros ($47) for travel within Europe, putting it at a similar price point as low-cost carrier EasyJet. Joon's flights from Paris to Berlin, Porto, Lisbon and Barcelona will begin in December. The carrier will also offer long-haul flights, between Paris and the Seychelles and to Fortaleza in northern Brazil in 2018.

The new airline isn't alone in its quest for price-conscious consumers. Lufthansa has expanded its low-cost Eurowings unit, while British Airways' parent, International Airlines Group, earlier this year launched airline Level, which offers fares that start around $200 for travel between Oakland, California, and Barcelona.

The airline's splashy debut touts in-flight streaming and flight attendant uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles. But customers will likely be most focused on price.

Price is by far the most important factor when travelers choose an airline, according to a 2015 study by the International Air Transport Association, an industry group that represents most commercial airlines.