The old joke is still true:
- Q: How do you become a millionaire quickly?
A: Start out a billionaire and invest in an airline.
When they invited me out to their launch announcement (I couldn’t go), my first thought was “because that always works.”
There’s always an aviation executive who things “there’s a really big market, and if we just got 1% of it we’d be profitable…”
But getting that 1% is a challenge
- With limited frequencies
- Without corporate contracts
- Without an existing customer base or brand recognition
- Without a major frequent flyer program for support
Eos, Maxjet, and Silverjet didn’t make it. British Airways’ OpenSkies has had the support of a major airline but didn’t stick with a true all business class format. And OpenSkies already flies.. New York-Paris. And they do it to Paris-Orly so at least there’s a reason why some people would choose them, rather than Charles de Gaulle where La Compagnie will fly.
What’s more, these Newark-Paris flights are going to be operated with angled seats. Pricing has not been announced.
If I was going to just provide renderings of a seat, I would make it look more comfortable. And I would add my own branding (that writing in the back of the cabin just says ’boutique airline’).
Moreover, they’ve announced that business class will just have 3 flight attendants for 74 passengers. I find that one crew for a small domestic first cabin can be insufficient…!
It seems like there are so many fantastic things they could do with the investment other than this. Like sending kids to college, or hookers and blow.
Customers won’t just default to an airline like this, flying them is a choice and there needs to be a reason to choose it. For New York – Paris, the competition will offer full flat seats (United and Delta are already there and Air France plans to get there). So unless these are business class seats at the price of coach…
The airline has one Boeing 757 with two-by-two seating. United can tell you how great 757s are for transatlantic Westbound flights in Winter. They’ve been known to operate ‘focus cities’ in Goose Bay and Gander for refueling when headwinds get significant.
La Compagnie’s Paris flight will depart at 5:50pm, arrive Newark at 8:30pm and do a 75 minute turn back to Paris, presumably spending about 6 hours back on the ground in Paris.
They expect to begin taking bookings in July, and have a second 757 delivered in December.
Get ready for some big discounting on the New York-Paris route… At least for as long as La Compagnie service lasts.
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