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OPENSKIES TAKES OFF
NEW YORK, Jan. 9 – – British Airways is planning to launch its new US-EU subsidiary airline “OpenSkies” with daily flights from New York to Brussels and Paris.
The airline will launch in June 2008 with one Boeing 757 aircraft that will operate from New York to either Brussels or Paris Charles de Gaulle airports. A second aircraft will be added to the fleet later this year to fly to the other EU destination.
The plan is to operate six 757s by the end of 2009, all of which will be sourced from the current British Airways’ fleet.
The aircraft will carry up to 82 passengers on Boeing 757 aircraft with three onboard cabins: business, premium economy and economy.
British Airways’ Chief Executive Willie Walsh said: “This is an exciting new venture for us and we’re confident that it will be a great success as we build on the strength of British Airways’ brand in the US and Europe.
“By naming the airline OpenSkies, we’re celebrating the first major step in 60 years towards a liberalized US/EU aviation market which means we can fly between any US and EU destination. It also signals our determination to lobby for further liberalization in this market when talks between the EU and US take place later this year.”
OpenSkies’ business class cabin has 24 seats that convert into six-foot long flat beds.
There will be 28 premium economy seats with a 52-inch seat pitch and 30 economy seats.
The 757s will have winglets retro-fitted on the aircraft. These will improve fuel efficiency, reduce the aircraft’s CO2 emissions and increase the aircraft’s operating range.
OpenSkies’ Managing Director will be Dale Moss, British Airways’ former director of worldwide sales, and the airline is registered in the UK. It will shortly file an application for the necessary regulatory approval in the US and UK.
More details may be found at http://www.flyopenskies.com.
Interesting that this will be a three class layout, rather than the all business layout first mooted. Will creat significant competition for http://www.lavion.com the French all business class carrier.
Still no clarity on whether Open Skies will fly to EWR or JFK.
Sounds like they will fit http://www.newclubworld.com as the premium cabin, but a totally new class of service for Premium Economy, with a massive 52″ pitch seat.
Let’s hope they can get AVOD fitted to these 757s in all classes.
Apparently the new venture will not be part of oneworld, though will be a BA codeshare. Let’s wait and see what the mileage earning/burning opportunities are.
Either way, get set for a few competitive fares to NYC this summer.
I suggest that passengers donj fly on B757’s due to the high incidence of toxic air syndrome (www.aerotoxic.org) incidents associated with this type of airplane. This phenomenon affects passengers and crew alike