New Newark – London Service Coming Offering Business Class for the Price of Coach

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.

(Emphasis mine.)

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.

Insert the old joke about how to become a millionaire quickly…


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Heaven forbid that a company should try to inject some new competition into the market, Gary.

    And speaking of competition, I’d see this as conceivably hitting a sweet spot constituting a superior alternative to British Airways’ and Air France’s premium economy options and/or appealing to many folks who just want a comfortable and relatively affordable trans-Atlantic ride.

  2. Gary: has the presence of La Compagnie on the New York -Paris route brought down premium fares on other airlines ?

  3. Love how they claim that their seats recline to a “180-degree angle” on their FB page, when its actually an angle flat and not true lie flat seat. Not sure I want to fly an airline that doesn’t know what 180 degrees means. The steep discount prices means they will go under unless they can find a buyer.

  4. I hope they find a way to survive. I think it has the potential to fill a demand, I am not terribly convinced of the execution yet. Not everyone needs a lie-flat seat to fly New York to London or Paris. I would think that there’s a market for those who want to get to those cities but don’t want to spend $5,000 to get a business class seat, but don’t want to get trapped in cattle class.

  5. If Paris is 2.5k, then prob closer to 3k euro for 2 ex-UK, due to APD.
    BA ex-EU more appealing, me thinks

  6. While I don’t find angled flat aspirational, getting it at the same price as cattle car barely reline, and only half full at that, strikes me as quite a bargain.

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