If there’s one lesson the airlines should have taught us in the past decade, it’s that independent, all business class, transatlantic airlines don’t work. They just don’t. They can’t compete on schedule and frequency. They typically can’t compete in terms of ground services and reliability. And when the economy goes down the drain, they don’t have the backing or flexibility to “weather the storm.” Such is the nature of flying exactly one route between two financial capitals.
The only all business class transatlantic operation still flying is British Airways’ Club World London City service.
It flies between New York and London City, and is operated by an A318 with 32 business class seats.
British Airways Club World London City A318
British Airways’ other “unique” transatlantic operation is OpenSkies, which is operated between New York and Paris Orly by a 757. The only catch is that nowadays it’s a three cabin plane, with business, premium economy, and economy. When the service launched years ago they had goals of flying out of Amsterdam and to Washington as well, but they’re still only flying between Paris and New York, so I doubt the service is performing profitably.
Well it seems that lesson hasn’t been learned. La Compagnie is a new all business class airline that will start transatlantic all business class service between New York and Paris — or more accurately, between Newark Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Via Luxury Travel Magazine, here are the details:
La Compagnie will start operations with a redesigned Boeing 757-200 dressed in the airline’s signature baby blue hue. The plane will offer four to five weekly flights throughout the summer, with scheduled departures out of Paris at 17:50 arriving in Newark at 20:30, and out of Newark at 21:45 arriving in Paris at 11:15.
The B 757-200 is the best plane adapted for La Compagnie’s cross-Atlantic route: it has a range of 3,900 nautical miles and modern winglets to cut fuel consumption. The interior design offers 74 “lie-flat” seats creating a 2×2 configuration throughout a single aisle cabin with no dividing class curtain. Overhead luggage bins are amply sized. The interior cabin is sleek and stylized with leather headrests and armrests in La Compagnie’s signature baby blue. Additional interior tones are muted: from the wood grain of wallboards to the blue-speckled grey carpeting.
La Compagnie’s next Boeing 757-200 aircraft will be delivered in December 2014.
Each La Compagnie flight will be crewed by two pilots and three flight attendants fluent in international languages. The experienced cockpit crews have profiles approved by the French Civil Aviation Authority.
The cabin crew will be outfitted in stylish signature uniforms designed by the French fashion house Vicomte A, whose colorful ready-to-wear line combines an aristocratic tradition and elegance as well as French know-how and “art-de-vivre.”
Passengers will be comforted by in-flight amenity kits including Caudalie cosmetic products, as well as in-flight meal service with menus created by Christophe Langree, the Michelin-starred chef of Hôtel Matignon in Paris, which serves as the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. La Compagnie’s fleet will also be equipped with complimentary WiFi Internet service, and all seats will have personal Samsung tablets uploaded with an assortment of books, magazines, music and movies.
Three flight attendants for 74 business class passengers? British Airways has three flight attendants on their A318s flying between New York and London, so British Airways’ crew to passenger ratio is more than double. Of course that assumes La Compagnie ever has more than 32 passengers on one of their planes, which seems highly unlikely to me, but… 😉
So they plan on launching service in just a few weeks, but don’t yet have a website and aren’t taking reservations.
For more information or to make reservations with La Compagnie, please contact (800)-218-8187 or visit www.LaCompagnie.com starting July 1, 2014. Please note: the call center and website in the United States will be available after receipt of US government approval.
If they have good introductory fares I’ll give them a shot, but… seriously?! For their sake, here’s to hoping I’m misreading this and it’s actually a disguised article from “The Onion.”