Business class fares to Washington DC are about to tumble as Maxjet announces flights from London Stansted starting in late February.
Timings have yet to be finalised but the American all-business class airline says it will fly five times a week. It also plans to add a Saturday frequency to its existing Stansted-New York service.
Fares are expected to be similar to New York prices (these cost around £860 return), which is far less than British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and United charge from Heathrow. For example, BA's return price for a short-notice booking to Washington is £4,416. BA offers a lower £2,504 deal but you must book weeks ahead.
According to CEO Gary Rogliano, air travellers already recognise the enormous value that Maxjet offers. "Our load factor and customer reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and encouraging. People are thanking me every day, by email or in person, for creating an airline that finally makes sense for consumers."
In common with other carriers Maxjet suffers the odd hiccup. But unlike the big ones, Maxjet currently has only one plane and so any problems can impact on schedules. Its flight on Tuesday from Stansted had to be cancelled while today (December 14) the inbound service from JFK is delayed by over six hours. These hitches should ease now that Maxjet is set to acquire additional aircraft this month.
The carrier says it will launch a loyalty scheme on February 1 allowing families and small businesses to tag up to five names on one account and to jointly earn free tickets. Unusually, the airline will allow members to claim retrospectively for flights taken since November. Visit www.maxjet.com.
Report by Alex McWhirter