On 4 April 2018 Cape Town Air Access (a partnership between Wesgro, the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town, Airports Company South Africa, South African Tourism, and Cape Town Tourism) officially welcomed the touchdown of airline ‘Joon’ at a press conference hosted in the Mother City.
Marketed as ‘the new generation journey by Air France’ Joon targets younger travellers and commenced three direct flights between Paris and Cape Town this week.
Offering a flying experience that is both stylish and relaxed, customers will be welcomed by Joon cabin crew adorning casual uniforms featuring white trainers and polo shirts. Appealing to an always-connected audience, the airline boasts free Wifi – enabling passengers to stream movies and shows on their own devices, with seats featuring USB ports for charging.
The French market has been earmarked as one of Cape Town’s fastest growing markets, with a total of 17,574 French arrivals expected to arrive through Cape Town International Airport between November 2017 and April 2018 with a 22.9% year-on-year increase forecasted.
Nationally, the top two age groups to visit South Africa are 25-34 and 35-44 year olds with passengers originating from France and Europe. Historically, Western Cape tourist arrivals boasts a solid youth market with the 25-34 year age bracket showing a consecutive growth rate between 2013 and 2016, indicating sound prospects of continued growth into 2018.
Wesgro CEO, Tim Harris said: “Cape Town and the Western Cape have a plethora of opportunities and experiences to offer both young and mature travellers. With our competitive exchange rate making the Mother City a desirable destination for young tourists in particular, we look forward to welcoming more visitors to our shores through the facilitation of a more affordable flight options offered by Joon. We are particularly pleased by the growth in the French market, now the 6th largest. Last year there was a 33% increase in French arrivals, providing a big boost to our regional economy.”
Addressing the media and guests was: Joon CEO, Jean-Michel Mathieu; Air France KLM Senior Vice President Africa, Frank Legre; Air France KLM General Manager Southern Africa, Wouter Vermeulen; and Cape Town Air Access project, Paul Van den Brink.
Addressing guests, Joon CEO, Jean-Michel Mathieu, commented: “Joon is a brand that prides itself in being aligned to the times. With our mission being the new generation travel experience by Air France – we aim to offer innovative, high quality service at competitive pricing. With our different levels of comfort available on-board: Business; Premium Economy and Economy, Joon has something for everyone.”
Acknowledging the growth potential the new routes offer Cape Town and the Western Cape, Harris added, “We commend the Cape Town Air Access team and all its partners on their tireless efforts in navigating ways to make Cape Town more accessible and easier to visit for people of all ages and walks of life. With a forecast increase of 22.9% year-on-year, the strength in this market holds huge opportunities for the Cape to attract an even greater share of tourists from France.”
The Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde added: “Joon as a brand is positioned to appeal to young, hip and tech savvy travellers, who I’m certain, will feel right at home in Cape Town and the Western Cape. We welcome Joon’s inclusion of Cape Town in their network as this will be a huge boost toward our Project Khulisa targets of growing tourism and creating more jobs in this valuable sector. Direct flights are one of the key ways we are getting more people to visit our destination.”
Welcoming the new route by Joon, the Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Patricia de Lille, commented: “It is wonderful to welcome Joon to Cape Town and I am excited to see how they bring more young visitors to our vibrant city. Air connectivity is undoubtedly a key enabler for our economy and it has the ability to create hundreds of new jobs. I am proud to say that Air Access Cape Town shows how we can deliver to all Capetonians if all three spheres of government and the private sector work together.”