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L’Avion Swallowed by OpenSkies

Let’s all raise a toast to those who owned a piece of L’Avion. They became the only (extremely lucky) shareholders of an independent all-premium class airline to actually get money back from their investment. That’s right, the new BA subsidiary OpenSkies announced today that they’re buying L’Avion for a mere 35 million euros.

This marks the end of the latest experiment in all-premium airlines. 08_07_02 openskieslavionMAXjet is toast, so is Eos, and despite many rumors, Silverjet is officially done as well. Now that last man standing, L’Avion, is part of the BA empire and will be fully integrated into OpenSkies.

If you had a ticket on L’Avion to fly from Newark to Paris, nothing should change . . . for now. OpenSkies says it will “operate up to three daily flights between Paris Orly and the New York area,” it’s that “up to” piece that makes me believe these frequencies won’t last for long. Right now, OpenSkies flies from JFK and L’Avion flies from Newark. It wouldn’t surprise me if they end up consolidating at some point.

I guess we should have seen this coming when OpenSkies announced a codeshare with L’Avion right when they started flying. But that still begs the question . . . why are they doing this? Beats me. It’s not like they need more 757s, and I’m sure they could have driven out L’Avion if they really wanted to. Maybe they really wanted those extra slots at Orly, but that seems like an awful lot to pay for them, no? I guess I don’t know the going rate.

Either way, we’re going to see a quicker ramp up of the airline than previously planned. Keep an eye out for new cities to pop up from OpenSkies sooner rather than later. I would imagine this will continue to be focused on flights from New York to other points in Continental Europe.

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