In mid-June I wrote about La Compagnie, the new French airline that was planning to launch all business class service between Paris and Newark as of July 11, 2014.
I wrote about them again last week, after their supposed inaugural flight, which never actually happened. As I explained, they offer ridiculously good business class fares, even though their product is not competitive. At the time business class was 1,000 Euros roundtrip, which is as cheap as economy class in some cases.
Of course that’s no way to make money — you’re not going to turn a profit selling business class seats at the price of coach seats. But sadly it almost looked like that was their only option, since their business class is so mediocre that no one would pay business class prices for it.
There are just so many aspects of their operation that are fascinating, though I won’t rehash them all here — check out my previous post if you haven’t read it already.
Last week I asked them on Facebook when their inaugural flight would be, to which their response was “Soon, very soon ! You’ll have all the pictures on this Facebook page.” Of course I was asking because I wanted to be on the inaugural flight.
I’ve been monitoring their schedule like a hawk, and they haven’t been selling tickets for flights before this Thursdays up until now.
According to their Facebook page, it seems that out of nowhere they had their “inaugural flight” yesterday from Paris to Newark. Here are all two pictures that they posted of it on their Facebook:
Dear La Compagnie — shuttling a plane empty across an ocean doesn’t qualify as an inaugural in my book. 😉
Anyway, I do have some other legitimate updates regarding La Compagnie:
La Compagnie’s US website is now live
Up until yesterday, La Compagnie didn’t have a US website. When you went to their US website you simply got this page:
Now their US website is finally live:
So you don’t need a non-US IP in order to book a ticket on La Compagnie anymore — woohoo!
It’s still not clear when La Compagnie will actually fly
It’s great that they had their “inaugural” flight yesterday. You’d think that would mean they’ll actually start flying now, no? Well, so far their schedule has made Qatar’s A380 delivery schedule look reliable by comparison.
Looking at the calendar, it seems the first date they’re selling seats for is Saturday, July 26. And then after that it’s another six days till they have another flight, on Friday, August 1. You will notice the excuse for not operating flights alternates between “Not Available” and “Not Operating.”
La Compagnie has already raised prices
When I talked about fares last time, they were charging 1,000 Euros roundtrip per person (~$1,360USD).
Looking at the US site, the lowest roundtrip fare I’m seeing is ~$1,800USD.
Yeah, admittedly the ~$1,350USD fares were ridiculously low, but they weren’t a totally stupid idea (even if the airline as a whole is). You want to get people on your planes so they’re talking about your product and familiar with it, and that wasn’t necessarily a bad way to accomplish that.