Air France-KLM Joon to start Istanbul-Paris flights in March
Air France-KLM’s lower cost brand Joon will start its Istanbul-Paris flights late in March 2018 as the French flag carrier wants to grow in the Turkish market, but it will do this through its sub-brand due to high competitiveness at the market, top company representatives told Reuters on Dec. 26.
Air France-KLM General Manager for East Mediterranean Jerome Salemi also noted that any geopolitical risks or security concerns did not play any role in Air France-KLM’s decision to stop its Istanbul flights.
Five European and two American flag carriers have recently stopped their Istanbul flights for a number of reasons, including a demand plunge for Turkish routes, a slot shortage in Istanbul’s main airport, and increasingly competitive Turkish airliners, daily Dünya had reported on Dec. 18.
Air France, Iberia, Swiss, Alitalia, Austrian, Air Canada and Delta have halted their Istanbul flights over the last two years, though some have decided to keep flights going through sub-brands.
Salemi said that the company plans to position its Joon brand in a bid to get a presence in highly competitive markets as well as for cost saving reasons.
“Air France-KLM Group definitely has a presence in the Turkish market and wants to grow more. As the market is highly competitive, we will aim to achieve this by using competitive and innovative ways. Joon is one of these key instruments which we can use,” he noted, adding that Joon would use the Atatürk Airport in Istanbul.
To a question whether Air France-KLM’s decision to make its Istanbul flights through Joon was about any geopolitical risks or security concerns, Salemi said: “This is a company decision about network positioning and is based on the availability of Joon for this market; and the decision was not related to any geopolitical development.”
“The second pillar of the company strategy here is to use our code-sharing deals with Turkey’s Atlasglobal and Pegasus,” he also noted.
Joon will start its Istanbul-Paris flights in late March next year seven times a week, Salemi said, adding that the company would also have the opportunity to make additional flights seven days a week through its deal with Atlasglobal.
In addition to them, the company will also have the opportunity to make Istanbul-Amsterdam flights through its code-sharing agreement both with Atlasglobal and Pegasus, he added.
Meanwhile, Joon will also make Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, Berlin, Cape Town, Sheyseller, Cairo and Tehran flights of the company en route from or to Paris, Salemi also said.