OpenSkies, the British Airways subsidiary focusing on non-UK flights from the USA has received approval from the US Department of Transportation to begin selling tickets on their planned flights between New York’s JFK airport and Paris’s Orly. They also reiterated their plans to add Brussels and Milan, Amsterdam and Frankfurt to their portfolio as they grow out their routes.
OpenSkies/BA is the first carrier to go after the recent Open Skies treaty negotiated between the US and EU. All the other new traffic has been destined to London’s Heathrow from US-based carriers. And while I get that some people see Heathrow as a “premier” airport for connections and/or travel to London, I don’t see the value in adding another 2000 daily seats there, which is basically what has happened. There are a ton of other cities that can benefit from service and connections, and OpenSkies seems to be the only carrier making a go of it. They’ve also established a code-share agreement with L’Avion, a French all-business class carrier in order to obtain the slots at Paris’s Orly airport. So it looks like they really are moving forward, despite the threat of strikes from BA’s pilot’s union over the new group operating on a different contract and pay scale.
Time will tell, but things are continuing to move forward, despite the threat of strikes and record fuel prices. The folks at BA must really think they’ve got it figured out with this plan.
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