Can all-business class airlines work? La Compagnie President Christian Vernet thinks so. But while others have failed — remember MAXJet? — Vernet said his airline's product sets it apart, and the A321 is the ideal aircraft for both the route and the on-board product. And as for the other 10 airlines that operate the Paris-New York route, including behemoths like Air France and Delta? Vernet said business class passengers on La Compagnie appreciate not waiting while "300 other passengers [are] going through the aisle … finding the economy section of the aircraft." In addition to its year-round Paris flights, the airline again this summer is planning to operate Newark-Nice flights.
Qatar Airways took a page from Etihad's book and invested in a European carrier. This elicited howls from the major U.S. airlines. They claimed this move was nothing more than a Trojan Horse strategy for Qatar to operate fifth-freedom flights to the U.S. from Europe (but not quite, since Air Italy was a European carrier). Air Italy never fulfilled its promise — or threat, depending on where you stood on the issue — and the airline is now shutting down Feb. 25. Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte tells us why.
A federal court is wading into the arcana of airline distribution. It's assessing whether there are antitrust issues with travel tech company Sabre's proposed acquisition of Farelogix. But what exactly is the deal? And why does the government have concerns? Skift Senior Travel Tech Editor Sean O'Neill takes us through an explainer on what Sabre and Farelogix do, why the government cares, and why you probably shouldn't sue your next employer.
French Bee President Marc Rochet is confident the airline's upcoming Newark-Orly flights will be successful, because the key to the airline's wins so far is its simplicity, he said. But will it work? Rochet said simplicity — in fleet, in network, in product — is key to why the airline is working when so many other European leisure carriers have failed.