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