OpenSkies and L'Avion Plan to Unite

OpenSkies

Tracking the Ever Changing Airline Industry

Cabin Managers has been tracking the airline industry closely for several years now, but the past six months has been a particularly active time for the airlines. Last Christmas, MAXjet Airways quit flying and, since then, more than a half dozen other air carriers have gone out of business including EOS Airlines and Silverjet who, along with MAXjet, comprised the three business class airlines serving the popular New York to London air route.

One airline that has managed to hang on is tiny L’Avion, the trading name of Elysair, a French operator based in Paris. L’Avion operates two Boeing 757-200 with 90 Business Class seats only, flying between Paris (Orly) and New York (Newark) twice daily, 5 times a week. We’ve expected that their long term survival was in jeopardy given the present market conditions and on Wednesday our suspicions were confirmed, but in a rather pleasant twist.

BA Acquires L’Avion

British Airways announced earlier this week an agreement to acquire L’Avion and integrate the airline into its new subsidiary OpenSkies. OpenSkies began providing service between Orly Airport and John F. Kennedy Airport recently and the combined operation will operate up to three daily flights between Orly and the New York area using Boeing 757 aircraft.

“L’Avion has built a fantastic business offering high-value premium service that has inspired tremendous customer loyalty on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Dale Moss, Managing Director of OpenSkies. “Together, we share common values and a deep commitment to safety, innovation and customer service. L’Avion will provide OpenSkies with immediate scale, increased access to Paris Orly and an experienced, talented employee base. This is a combination of two companies that are focused on bringing comfort and personalization to transatlantic travel.”

“We are thrilled about this agreement, which brings together two like-minded airlines with complementary business models and a focus on low costs and high value to create a premium transatlantic carrier,” said Marc Rochet, Chief Executive Officer of L’Avion. “We look forward to being a part of the high-quality customer experience that will become synonymous with OpenSkies, all backed by the vision of British Airways.”

Code Share Agreement

The deal is pending regulatory approval, but once that has been accomplished customers of the newly combined entity will be eligible to experience important benefits including an increased schedule and BA Executive Club privileges. At present, OpenSkies and L’Avion operate a codeshare agreement with L’Avion selling seats on OpenSkies flights.

Once we see how everything unfolds Cabin Managers will update the information for L’Avion listed on this site’s sidebar.

(Source: British Airways)

July 2008 Hiring Forecast

Gulf Air

Happy Birthdays,

Canada

and U

S

A

!

Today is Canada Day and Friday marks Independence Day

, two holidays important to the people of Canada and the United States of America, respectively.  These two nations share a lot in common, never mind one of the longest peacetime borders in the world.

Airlines In Canada and the USA

Both countries have been taking it on the chin lately when it comes to their airline sectors, with the US probably suffering the most. Canada is doing better in the current economic challenge as the housing sector downturn in the US is chiefly an American thing. However, high jet fuel prices isn’t good for anyone and,  where the US has embraced deregulation and seen a spate of recent airline failures, Canada has cautiously gone down the same path, but with less abandon.

I was going to use this month’s hiring forecast to take a special look at Canada, but there isn’t much to report other than this:

Seeking Work In Canada?

If you are an American who doesn’t have the right to work in Canada, applying for a position with a Canadian registered air carrier is useless. Conversely, if you are a Canadian seeking work in the US, you won’t find employment either. The reason: flight attendants are not classified as one of those positions where workers are needed. In fact, with all of the layoffs over recent years, there are many furloughed flight attendants looking for work. One exception: if you are seeking work in your own country for a position with the other country’s air carrier, you might be eligible for employment.

Canadian flight attendant jobs can usually be found posted on the airline’s website or on Workopolis

, the big job search engine specific to Canada.  Since rolling out the new Cabin Managers last fall, I’ve also added information about Porter Airlines, small regional operator based in Toronto. This airline is now flying to Newark Airport, but their flight crew is domiciled in Toronto. Other positions such as customer service representative, ramp agent, and aircraft maintenance engineer are open to US citizens at Newark.

Flying Internationally

Both Canadians and Americans can sometimes find work in other countries, especially if a call for employment of foreign nationals has been made. Cabin Managers has tracked two air carriers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways and both are hiring. Each airline has held open houses recently in the US and in Canada, providing an opportunity for people to check them out. A third airline, Gulf Air, which is based in Manama, Bahrain, is also hiring flight attendants. They have a specific page

for US or Canadian residents to visit to learn more this opportunity.

The Months Ahead

Beyond the short term, events unfolding over the coming months will foretell the direction the airline industry is heading. If fuel prices remain elevated or continue to rise, then more bankruptcies will take place and employment prospects will further dim. If fuel prices drop significantly, much of the pressure will be reduced though not altogether removed. And, as long as the threat of higher fuel prices remain, further consolidation will take place in a bid to cut costs.

As always, please bookmark this site and check back frequently for updates. If you have some information to share, feel free to hit the comment button and share what you have with everyone else.

Safe flying!