OpenSkies Will Start Flying A 767 Between New York And Paris

OpenSkies is the British Airways subsidiary operating flights between New York (both Newark and Kennedy) and Paris Orly Airport.

OpenSkies
OpenSkies Boeing 757

The airline began flying in 2008, and has changed up their business model a few times since. Nowadays they operate three Boeing 757-200 aircraft in a three class configuration, with business class, premium economy, and economy (for a while they didn’t have an economy cabin).

OpenSkies-Business-1
OpenSkies business class

In addition to competing with some major carriers (Air France, American, Delta United, etc.), they also face competition from French all business class airline La Compagnie.

Per Le Journal De L’Aviation, OpenSkies will be adding a Boeing 767 to their fleet this summer. OpenSkies is expected to start flying the 767 starting in August, though it hasn’t yet been announced where they’ll be getting the plane from. I suspect they’ll be taking over a British Airways 767, given that BA is in the process of retiring some of them.

According to this article the plane will feature 24 business class seats, 24 premium economy seats, and 78 economy seats, though that seems way low to me; I suspect it may be an error.

This larger plane is probably intended to compete with Air France’s new flight between New York and Paris Orly, which is launching in June 2016. I find it odd that OpenSkies is responding to Air France’s entry into the market by adding capacity, given that OpenSkies has never been about having the most market share. Furthermore, a big motivation for Air France launching the route is to offer connecting service to the routes they operate out of Paris Orly.

OpenSkies also isn’t a discount airline in the same way that La Compagnie is — their business class can be quite expensive, though their premium economy is nice, and sometimes quite reasonably priced.

OpenSkies-Premium
OpenSkies premium economy

Bottom line

OpenSkies has been operating a consistent fleet for the past several years, so it’s interesting to see them make some operational changes at last. I’m curious to see where they’re getting the 767 from, and also how exactly it will be configured. I’m also curious if the 767 is replacing one of their current aircraft, or will simply be added to the fleet.

It might be time for me to give OpenSkies another try this summer. Let’s hope for another great fare sale.

What do you make of OpenSkies acquiring a 767?

Comments

  1. They should start flying from Miami to Paris, there are only a couple of daily flights (AA & AF) on this route.
    Airlines in general should start paying more attention to Miami, the 2nd busiest US airport by international passenger traffic.

  2. According to Wikipedia (which isn’t the best source), OpenSkies is acquiring 4 767 from British Airways with a 24/24/141 configuration. I’m surprised that they have a large increase of Economy seats considering that when they started they didn’t have an economy cabin.

  3. It was an interesting product before adding economy. I still like the option for award flights but see little value beyond, but I don’t live in either city.

  4. The 767s are coming from BA. The first will be G-BNWI and is due to arrive mid-August. One major potential issue is that they will leave the existing BA seats in place. That’s fine for BizBed and economy but would be a major downgrade for Premium Economy. BA’s world traveller plus in the 767 is not a patch on OpenSkies’ current premium economy seat. The 24/24/141 config that’s been reported would suggest no change from the BA seats.

  5. I also read something about Openskies supposedly in the process of retrofitting its fleet at this very moment, with scheduled completion by the end of may 2016 … Any infos about that ?

  6. I think the BA configuration may not work too well with Open Skies, and think Open Skies can add more premium economy seats, while reducing the amount of economy seats. I have a feeling that many people chooses Open Skies because of its affordable premium Biz seats. They are quite a nice bargain, and something that Air France can’t really fight against. They should focus on their niche.

    With a larger Biz cabin, I am a bit worried that the lounge in Orly can’t handle the increased passenger load. It is already fairly crowded now especially when there is a BA flight flying around the same time. The terminal is also very small too, so it will get more crowded when there is one of those AF HD 77Ws to those former French colonies and Open Skies 767 flights operating at the same time frame.

    Anyway with a larger cabin, there will hopefully be more staffing and the F/As will be less stressful and can provide better service than now.

    Adrian

  7. I read the source article. It says that it is going to be a 767 from BA with a 24/24/141 seating arrangement.

    I have flown OpenSkies 4 times in the past two years. It would have been 5 but they overbooked Premium Economy and I got a Club World flight through Heathrow to Orly. Club World is much better than Biz Bed but getting the “middle” two seats and transferring in LHR were just not worth it.

    OpenSkies is an odd bird. I like the idea of direct ORY-NYC flights. There is a definitely a market but the way that they are approaching the market leaves me dumbfounded. They have three 757 that are over 20 years old. During the peak season they run three flights a day. Where is the margin to deal with unexpected events? Those events happen regularly. F-HAVN landed in Boston on a NYC to Paris flight two years ago. The passengers finally got back to Paris two days later. Unfortunately, they ended up in CDG and needed to get across Paris to ORY for connecting flights. In January 2016, F-HAVN had some more problems. This time the passengers ended up taking AFR7 to CDG the next day and F-HAVN flew to Atlanta where it stayed for a few weeks.

    The lamentable situation with the aircraft is so obvious. I was hoping that OpenSkies would go with new aircraft but that is a “rock and a hard-spot” problem for BA. An A321 like BA flys from Gatwick to NYC would be nice but OpenSkies would have to add flights in order to compensate for the smaller capacity. New 787s to replace the 757s would be good but there is no way the OpenSkies could fill them on a regular basis. So, what is the solution from BA? It is the same as they did with F-GPEK: transfer an aircraft from BA’s fleet to OpenSkies. Unfortunately, the age of their 767 vary from 17 to 26 years-old. In other words, OpenSkies get a old aircraft to add to its old fleet. It looks like this going to be the fate of OpenSkies: making due with what they got. At least, F-HAVI just came out an extended maintenance at Hahn.

    The bottom line is that OpenSkies is a good idea but the next time that I have to go to New York, I flying an Air France A388 from CDG.

  8. I always fly Open Skies, twice a year, since their beginning and if booked well in advance, their fares are the best I have found for the class of service. Their premium economy is a great deal, too, superior to any other premium eco that I have flown. I see La Compagnie is about to go down the tubes, and just before I checked their fares in prem eco for next March, and Open Skies is actually less. As for the big jet, I think part of the charm of OS is the smaller jet that can be de-boarded in a matter of minutes. Also, Orly is my Paris port of choice as it’s smaller and closer to Paris than CDG. Please don’t change things too much, OS.

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