La Compagnie, the all-business class airline flying Paris – Newark with angled seats and just 3 flight attendants for a 74 passenger cabin, will use its second 757 that’s about to be delivered to fly from a London area airport to Newark.
No details are announced yet as far as whether they’ll serve Gatwick, Luton, or Stansted.
La Compagnie brags about a load factor hovering around 50%, at deep discount pricing. So clearly the time is ripe to enter a second market (and clearly with only a 50% load factor, adding a second Paris flight would make no sense).
The founders of La Compagnie are the same folks that were behind L’Avion, who won the lottery managing to sell the operation to the British Airways which now operates it as OpenSkies. They re-entered the market for a second try, and perhaps are aiming at London service to see if they can again poke the British Airways bear in the zoo and prod them into bailing out this very bad idea.
In both the New York – Paris and New York – London markets, La Comagnie will operate with an inferior business class product as lie flat is the standard (with even Air France moving in that direction, and Delta and United both already there). And offering:
- Limited frequencies
- Without corporate contracts
- Without an existing customer base or brand recognition
- Without a major frequent flyer program for support
As a consumer, I think this is great — a company wishing to light money on fire, offering cheap transportation (business class seats at introductory fares around what others charge for coach) and hopefully pushing down fares in the broader market although with only a single flight other carriers may be able to ignore their pricing.
La Compagnie’s one-way fares in mid-January on the Paris route are $799, $1,315 or $2,072, depending on the flexibility of the ticket. It also sells a promotional fare of $2,599 round-trip for two persons traveling together.
They expect to begin London service “by the end of March” and sell tickets sometime in December so we’ll likely know what airport they’re serving soon.
- You can join the 40,000+ people who see these deals and analysis every day — sign up to receive posts by email (just one e-mail per day) or subscribe to the RSS feed. It’s free. You can also follow me on Twitter for the latest deals. Don’t miss out!