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July 26, 2008

French Airline L'Avion Purchased by British Airways

To Be Integrated With New Transatlantic Subsidiary OpenSkies.

British Airways

British Airways announced yesterday (July 25, 2008) that it has completed the purchase of French airline L'Avion, which will be integrated with British Airways' new subsidiary OpenSkies. This agreement was initially announced on July 2, 2008. Full integration of L'Avion with OpenSkies is slated for early 2009.

OpenSkies recently launched daily flights between Paris Orly Airport and New York John F. Kennedy Airport. L'Avion operates two Boeing 757 aircraft between Paris Orly and Newark Airport. The combined airline will operate up to three daily flights between Paris Orly and the New York area using Boeing 757 aircraft.


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"We are very pleased about the completion of this deal and excited to begin the integration process," said Dale Moss, Managing Director of OpenSkies. "This is an ideal combination of two companies that share a focus on delivering an unparalleled experience on the transatlantic journey. With L'Avion providing increased access to Paris-Orly, greater scale and a deep and talented employee base -- coupled with the backing of British Airways -- we will present an even stronger and more vibrant competitive choice across the Atlantic."

"Together, our combined companies will offer a compelling premium value proposition for travelers on the New York - Paris route," said Marc Rochet, Chief Executive Officer of L'Avion. "Our two airlines are a natural fit, with a collective commitment to providing memorable customer service on each and every flight. We look forward to working closely with our OpenSkies colleagues as we continue to build a premier transatlantic airline."


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Upon integration of the two airlines, customers can expect to experience benefits that will further improve the Paris - New York offering, including an increased schedule and BA Executive Club privileges. OpenSkies and L'Avion currently operate a codeshare with L'Avion selling seats on OpenSkies flights.

L'Avion has accommodated more than 65,000 customers since its start on January 3rd, 2007. L'Avion is the first French airline that offers all business class service at affordable prices to travelers. L'Avion operates two Boeing 757-200 with 90 Business Class seats only. L'Avion flies between Paris-Orly and New York- Newark twice daily, 5 times a week.


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With no more than 82 passengers on each flight, OpenSkies features three cabins: BIZ, a business class service featuring the only fully lie-flat beds on the Paris - New York route; PREM+, a completely new service category featuring reclining seats with a 52" pitch; and ECONOMY, featuring a cabin containing only thirty seats.

OpenSkies will initially fly between Paris - Orly Airport and New York - JFK Airport. Other European destinations being considered for the airline include Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan. The airline will offer guests innovative features onboard, including lie-flat beds in business class, personal entertainment units with 50+ hours of programming, and fresh and healthy meal service. Backed by British Airways, OpenSkies is the first airline created as a result of the Open Skies agreement, which allows airlines to fly between any U.S. and E.U. destination.

Source: OpenSkies

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 2:20 PM | Link to this Post

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