British Airways has bought French all-business class carrier L'Avion, and says it will integrate the airline into its recently launched OpenSkies subsidiary.
BA has paid £54 million for L'Avion, covering the purchase of the airline and £26 million of cash in its business. Completion of the deal is expected this month, subject to clearance from relevant regulatory authorities.
BA's OpenSkies subsidiary launched on June 19 (see online news May 23 for more details on the OpenSkies product), and currently offers daily flights between Paris Orly and New York JFK on a Boeing 757 configured for 82 seats in three classes.
The carrier had already signed a codeshare agreement with L'Avion, which offers up to two daily flights between Paris Orly and New York Newark. The French airline also uses Boeing 757 aircraft, although these are configured for 90 seats in an all-business class layout. It’s not clear if or when the seating onboard the L'Avion fleet will be changed to match OpenSkies' three-class configuration.
The takeover will mark the disappearance of the last stand-alone all-business class airline, following the demise of Maxjet, Eos and Silverjet over the last six months – several other carriers including Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines do still operate all-business class flights outside of their mainstream offering.
Report by Mark Caswell