BA launches OpenSkies airline

[19th June 2008]

British Airways plane

British Airways’ new subsidiary airline OpenSkies is launching its first flight today between Paris Orly airport and New York JFK.

OpenSkies is the first airline created to take advantage of the Open Skies aviation agreement that allows airlines to fly between any destination in the EU and USA.

"This is an exciting new chapter in our history as, for the first time, we will be flying directly between continental Europe and the US,” says British Airways’ chief executive, Willie Walsh.

"While the economic climate has worsened in recent months, we believe that OpenSkies can compete effectively. It has a low cost base and support from British Airways in key areas such as sales and marketing. This differentiates it from some new airlines that have failed recently which were operating in isolation without the backing of an established carrier," Walsh adds.

OpenSkies will run a daily service between Paris and New York using a Boeing 757 with 82 seats. There are 24 seats in Biz, OpenSkies’s business class, that convert into what the airline claims are the only fully flat beds on the Paris to New York route. Prem + offers 28 reclining seats with a 52” seat pitch, with the remaining 30 seats in economy class.

All OpenSkies passengers will have access to multilingual concierge agents to assist with travel arrangements including hotel and restaurant bookings.

OpenSkies will operate a second Boeing 757 later this year, and will have six aircraft by the end of 2009. The airline says it is looking at a number of other destinations in Europe including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan.

Written by: Nick Purdom


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BA Launches OpenSkies Airline