La Compagnie is one the more unusual carriers flying across the Atlantic. While most new airlines over the past five years have been flying on a low-cost, no frills model, La Compagnie has not. They have gone the exact opposite way, in fact. The airline offers a 757 fitted only with business class seats. They offer angled flat seats, however. Nonetheless, La Compagnie has defied all odds and survived. Their predecessors, like EOS and MaxJet have all gone bankrupt. OpenSkies, which used to be British Airways’ version of EOS now offers 3 classes of service. La Compagnie has (to a degree) successfully pulled off the TATL business class-only service. They fly from New York-Newark to Paris-Orly. The airline offers one daily flight in each direction. The airline seems to want to expand, as La Compagnie orders A321neos.
What to Expect
La Compagnie CEO announced that the airline intends on purchasing 2 A321neo aircraft. The new planes will allow the airline to offer fully-flat seats and wifi on their aircraft. This is a HUGE improvement on their product. Although angled seats are good, I much prefer flat seats. This will make the airline more competitive on the TATL market.
Last year, La Compagnie and XL Airways merged. The two carriers have very different business models, as XL is a low cost, leisure airline. Since then, nothing much has changed in the day-to-day of La Compagnie, but I believe that XL Airways is helping mitigate the cost of the purchase. I suspect that XL Airways in more profitable than La Compagnie, and with that they are paying the A321neos.
La Compagnie Game and Competition
The airline has always provided a much more affordable business class alternative than legacy carriers. For a little more than what many carriers charge for Premium Economy, you could fly La Compagnie. Now, with fully flat seats, the airline can pray away people who regularly fly from New York to Paris. This will give them a much better competitive advantage to the high priced legacy carriers. The only other remaining all-business class flight remaining is British Airways’ JFK to London City flight. The carrier only operates one daily flight, down from two before.
I am curious to see which seat the airline picks for their new A321neos. I suspect they will pick something that’s been tried and tested, such as the B/E Diamond seat. This product is already used in Delta One’s 757s and AA A321Ts. Regardless, I am very happy to see the airline succeed. After the demise of MaxJet and EOS, I thought no independent carrier could survive. Honestly, I believe the same thing about TATL LCCs after the death of ZOOM. I am so glad I was wrong, and I am so glad to see La Compagnie beat the odds. Here’s a toast to the future of La Compagnie.
What do you think? Are you going to try La Compagnie now that they have fully flat seats? Have you flown them recently? What was your experience? Let us know!
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H/T: One Mile at a Time
Images: Wikimedia, OMAAT, or noted.