Is The Airline La Compagnie Flying?!?

Yesterday I wrote about La Compagnie, the new airline offering all business class service between Paris and Newark. The airline is fascinating on so many levels, from them not having a US website yet, to it being founded by the same guy that founded L’Avion, an airline which operated with the same business model and never turned a profit (though lucked out in being able to sell to British Airways for their OpenSkies operation).

I have to imagine the sales pitch for this new airline went something like this (except somehow investors actually funded it):

Anyway, I need to fly from Europe to the US in the next few days, and was planning on giving La Compagnie a shot. This morning I checked, and the one-way fare for Thursday was 500EUR.

Then this afternoon I went to book, and noticed that the flight was sold out (or at least I’m told that’s what “Epuise” means). As was the flight on the 17th and the flight on 21st.

La-Compagnie-1

And the same is true in the other direction of travel, from Newark to Paris.

La-Compagnie-2

Now, on one hand I don’t want to rule out the possibility of them actually being sold out. If there’s one thing I don’t think they’ll have issues with, it’s filling planes at 500EUR per person. But to have all flights in both directions sold out, especially when they don’t even have a US website yet?

And this isn’t the first time this has happened. A week ago I was going to book the inaugural on the 11th. It showed as available in the morning, and then when I went to book in the afternoon it showed as sold out… in both directions.

It makes me wonder, is the airline even flying yet? They were supposed to start service on Friday, July 11, 2014, but I don’t see any reference of the inaugural flight, neither officially, in the new, or in social media. Their last Facebook post was yesterday:

Pour préparer le premier vol de la Compagnie, nos hôtesses et stewards défilent elles aussi.

I believe that’s talking about preparing for their first flight, so it seems that they in fact aren’t flying?

So what’s going on? Is La Compagnie actually flying yet? Are they literally delaying their inaugural flight day-by-day? And if so, what’s the hold up?

This is truly the most bizarre start up airline I’ve ever seen. This might just be the third most exciting source of drama in the airline industry, after His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, and the battle between Alaska and Delta.

Comments

  1. Well, shucks. I guess this leaves you no choice but to fly the Singapore A380 private suite FRA-JFK for 58,000 miles. Maybe you can see how spectacular La Compagnie is on another trip!

  2. I wonder if this airline is ever going to fly. When you posted about this the other day I was kicking myself for having booked OpenSkies Prem Plus over Thanksgiving when it looks like this is a slightly better product for less money…but now I’m not so sure.

  3. Hey Lucky,
    You should write about the new TSA fees. They are being more than doubled for travel booked after the 20th of July.

  4. I just became an FB elite so if you need to fly JFK-CDG on Air France’s new 777, let me know!

  5. I find their response to the guy who complained about them not posting anything in English odd. Said they cannot communicate in English legally until next week…but said so…in…ENGLISH

  6. I got the info about the inaugural flight CDG-EWR. It was initially planned on July 11th, then delayed to July 15th and now expected on July 17th. The (little) explanation given by the airline is that they are waiting for a final document issued by the DOT.
    French journalists said they were invited for the presentation of the aircraft and cabin interior on July 8th but the airplane has not even arrived in France and is still in the US for final changes in the cabin setup.
    Only 15 revenue passengers were booked on the inaugural flight on July 11th and the airline rerouted them on other carriers (paying full fare with only 500 EUR in revenue ???). Since that time, flights are shown fully booked on the airline website to avoid further booking in the coming days.

    my ref is the following article (in French):

    http://www.tourmag.com/Vol-inaugural-reporte-de-nouveau-y-a-t-il-un-pilote-a-bord-de-la-Compagnie_a68447.html

    in this one is a picture of the airplane:

    http://www.tourmag.com/Vol-100-affaires-retard-au-demarrage-pour-La-Compagnie-DreamJet_a68377.html

  7. @ FlodYUL – thanks!

    @ Lucky – I would imagine their English site will go up as soon as they get their paperwork in order.

  8. There was a La Compagnie plane today in CDG. Took a picture for you Ben but realized I actually don’t have your email 🙂

  9. Booking my tickets tonight when I get home! The website is up and flights are showing up as available.

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