Air France’s much-mocked ‘millennial airline’, Joon, seems to be taking note that the oldest members of that generation could well be grandparents now, and has started to sell the convertible economy class seats at the front of the rear economy cabin on its Airbus A340 aircraft as “Cosy Joon”. The intention is to add sofa-style seating for two children in the centre rows of four, and is being sold initially as a standard seat selection ancillary.
The hard product in question is Italian seatmaker Geven’s Piuma Sofà, certified with ETSO to the 16g standard in 2016, in the Airbus linefit catalogue, and launched by South African Airways on an A330-200 that same year, Massimiliano Guerriero, vice president for the company’s new Geven USA, Inc offices in Miami, confirms to Runway Girl Network.
Piuma Sofà works differently to the swing-up legrest used by Air New Zealand and licensed to other carriers including China Airlines. Instead, the upper section of the front side of the seat separates at roughly antimacassar level, and the structure is inserted into the seat pan. As a result, the additional weight required for the product is just 2.25kg per passenger, with a little extra for the mattress pad that Joon says it will offer. An additional seatbelt is attached in sleeping mode.
It’s interesting that Joon has decided to install Piuma Sofà on all four seats in each row of the centre section, though doesn’t plan to sell all four as a mega-sofa. Geven highlights that the seat has been designed as a “flexible lying surface” to allow crew rest and medical beds too, and indeed the row of four seats, if one takes the standard 17.5”-wide seat width, would stretch to 5’10” (178cm).
A Geven internal document seen by RGN highlights that the headrest is unlocked only by crew, using a special tool. As far as the seat goes, “the primary structure is identical,” Guerriero says. “Parts [are] added to [the] primary structure to allow attachment and detachment to seat back and seat pan.”
Joon’s Piuma Sofà is intended for use by children — “this product is recommended for two children between 2 and 5/6 years old maximum,” says Joon — whose heads reach below the level of the headrest. As such, there is little consequence to the impact zone above their heads.
Geven’s latest Elemento fully featured economy class seat family “is being designed with Sofà compatibility at the outset for Elemento Sofà variant,” Guerriero explains, though notes that the Essenza slimline, intended for shorthaul, is “unlikely” to see a Sofà option.
Joon’s implementation is a little different from others: it’s a matter of simply assigning seats at the normal rate of €20, so a total of €80 for a family of two adults and two kids. “Cosy Joon is only for families with one adult and two young children or two adults and two young children,” the airline says, noting that “Cosy Joon seats are free of charge for Flying Blue Silver, Gold and Platinum members. This benefit is only applicable on the price of the seat for Flying Blue members. To take advantage of this benefit, don’t forget to identify yourself with your Flying Blue number when buying your ticket.”
It’s also notable that, alongside this expansion of the onboard product beyond the young-and-cool branding, Air France is quietly trying out a new line in its marketing: “Joon is the new generation of travel by Air France”, and “Joon is an innovation laboratory for the Air France group”.
Compared with the previous millennial branding and line, this — given that Joon routes have been largely handed over lock stock from parent Air France, with no real differentiation beyond cabin crew in sneakers and more ancillary revenue — is both more believable and less cringeworthy. It will be fascinating to see whether Cosy Joon becomes Cosy Air France in due course.
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