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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)