Friday, May 16, 2008

OpenSkies Gets the Go-Ahead

Two days after Singapore Airlines started a route featuring all-business-class service between Newark and Singapore, OpenSkies, a mostly-premium airline started by British Airways, got the green light from the U.S. Transportation Department today to begin flying to the U.S. in June.

OpenSkies will commence business with flights between JFK and Paris Orly.

The new airline, run by B.A. veteran Dale Moss, will also operate in a code share agreement with the French all-business-class airline l’Avion, which flies between Newark and Orly.

OpenSkies said it will start selling tickets next week on its Web site

It will start up using a single 757 configured with first-class and business-class cabins, as well as about 30 coach seats. My hunch is that the code-share with l’Avion is a way to hedge against any routine mechanical delays on that single 757.

A second Boeing 757, taken from the British Airways fleet, is being added later this year. OpenSkies said it plans to add routes between European cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan and New York.

Singapore’s all-business-class service, meanwhile, will add a Singapore-Los Angeles route in September. Singapore is flying its all-business-class routes using A340-500s configured with just 100 lie-flat seats.


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