French carrier aims for success in all-business class sector

French carrier aims for success in all-business class sector

French carrier La Compagnie aims to succeed where others have failed with a low-cost all-business class transatlantic service.

Flights between Luton and Newark booked before the end of June will cost £649, or £1,007 return for two people travelling together, before rising to a starting price of £1,549.

The airline claims its fares are a discount of at least 50% compared to business class flights with major carriers.

La Compagnie, which has flown between Paris and New York since July, will operate its first Luton to Newark flight on April 24.

It will try to succeed in a sector where others have tried and failed, including MAXjet, Silverjet and Eos.

The French newcomer is to use a Boeing 757 on the route with 74 lie-flat seats in a 2x2 configuration.

An initial three return flights a week will rise to a daily frequency by the end of the year.

Airline co-founder and chief executive Frantz Yvelin said the use of Luton - which comes just as the airport launches its £100 million transformation plan that will increase capacity to 18 million passengers a year - could pave the way for La Compagnie to offer connecting flights with easyJet.

Yvelin is convinced his business model will withstand competition because its cost base is kept lower by operating out of the suburbs and maintaining a low staff count.

He was behind L’Avion, a budget business class airline between Paris and New York sold to British Airways for £54 million in 2008.

A UK start-up called Odyssey Airlines plans to launch a discount transatlantic premium service from London City airport in 2016.


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