Millions of dollars have been spent to learn the answer to this question. Thus far, all indications are that it is not possible. But that doesn’t stop folks from trying. Apparently there is another billionaire out there looking to become a millionaire, because someone is apparently going to give it a another shot.
Odyssey Airlines is the supposed name of the upstart which is expected to launch operations between London‘s City Airport and New York City‘s JFK with a Bombardier CSeries jet in an all business class configuration. This service would compete directly with the twice daily service offered by British Airways on Airbus A318 jets, with the added advantage of not requiring the fuel stop in Ireland on the west-bound leg.
The operation would launch in 2014 or 2015, assuming the timeline for the aircraft deliveries doesn’t slip. Oh, and there is apparently no one out there who actually works for Odyssey Airlines, so none of these details can actually be confirmed, but that hasn’t stopped many from reporting on the potential.
Breaking into the aviation market is horribly difficult and expensive. Doing it on one of the most heavily trafficked routes – NYC-LON – where there are something like 30 daily frequencies split between at least 5 carriers is even more challenging. And doing it in an uncertain market where fuel costs are significantly higher than they were last time a couple upstarts tried to break in is almost certifiably crazy. On the plus side, the new aircraft will have lower operating costs, but that doesn’t come anywhere close to guaranteeing success.
Also of interest is that the company involved has supposedly ordered 10 aircraft. That’s way too many to operate only on the NYC route so it can be presumed that there might be other routes considered as well. I can think of a few others in the same range that would be likely candidates, but they are also heavily contested and there isn’t a whole lot of room on the margins to make it work.
Don’t get me wrong – I hope it actually launches and that I get a chance to fly on Odyssey. But, much like Maxjet, SilverJet and eos before them, I don’t expect that opportunity to last long.
Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.