Openskies to switch to two classes

30 Jul 2008 by Mark Caswell

BA’s Openskies subsidiary is to drop its economy seating in favour of an expanded premium economy cabin, just months after launching the airline with a three-class product.

The carrier, which currently flies between Paris Orly and New York JFK (with an Amsterdam-New York route also due to launch on October 15) says it is responding to “strong and growing customer demand for high value premium offering”.

It will replace the 30 economy class seats onboard its 757 aircraft with 12 new Prem+ seats, increasing the premium economy cabin to 40 seats, and in turn reducing the total capacity of the aircraft to 64 seats.

Features of Prem+ include a 52’ pitch, 140-degree recline, and two power sockets, while the carrier’s business class cabin (Biz) has 24 six-foot long fully-flat beds, and an la carte meals and wine service.

Commenting on the change Dale Moss, managing director of Openskies said:

“From the very beginning, Openskies was built with a spirit of experimentation and creativity and a passion for listening to our customers. Since our launch, we have had a tremendously positive reception to our Prem+ service. By offering business class comfort without business class costs, Prem+ compares very favorably with what our competitors offer as business class. We’re thrilled to expand our Prem+ offering and focused on continuing to be flexible and responsive to our customers’ needs.” 

BA bought French all-business class carrier L’Avion earlier this month (see online news July 2) and says it will integrate the carrier into its Openskies service. This latest move will close the gap between the products offered on the two airlines, and it will be interesting to see if BA opts to reconfigure the L’Avion 757 aircraft (which currently offer 90 business class seats) with the revised two-class product on Openskies.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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