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French premium carrier La Compagnie is expected to formally open reservations on its second Transatlantic route from February 3, 2015. The airline has confirmed it will complement its current Paris CDG – Newark route launched last summer with a London – Newark offering from March 29, 2015, but it has still not confirmed which airport it will serve in the UK capital.
It had been reported last year that the airline had secured take-off and landing slots at London’s Gatwick Airport, but Frantz Yvelin, its chief executive officer said that it was exploring its options and studying Luton or Stansted as alternatives.
A communication last week from the airline suggests that Luton Airport will host the new Transatlantic link, its first regular flight to the United States since 2008. In a newsletter to subscribers confirming plans to open reservations this week, the carrier mentioned the use of the Bedfordshire airport (see image below).
Despite this correspondence, La Compagnie has declined to provide a formal comment on its plans, but in a statement said: “Unveiling a second route merely a few months after La Compagnie’s inaugural flight was something of a wild bet and we’re very excited to go through with it as it sets a new standard for business class travel beyond our current New York-Paris route.”
The growth is being made possible through the introduction of a second Boeing 757-200 into the La Compagnie fleet in December 2014. The aircraft is currently being outfitted in the company’s signature baby blue décor and business class amenities and like its first aircraft deployed on the Paris – Newark route, it will be configured in a 74-seat premium arrangement.
Although there has been a growing interest in the transatlantic market over the past couple of years the main growth has been from the low-cost sector as the likes of Norwegian and WestJet have expanded into this area. However, there has been little interest for more premium services between Europe and North America with previous carriers like Eos Airlines and SilverJet failing to make the grade.
Silverjet where actually the last airline to offer a regular link between London Luton and the US market with its flights to Newark operating from January 2007 to June 2008 when the Business Class only carrier collapsed.