Ocean Sky is to open a new FBO at London Luton Airport on March 30. The UK company has signed a lease on the facility formerly occupied by Harrods Aviation before it developed its current facilities at the airport. This is situated on Luton’s south ramp and is immediately parallel to the runway.
British Airways announced it is taking over France-based L’Avion, the last remaining all-business-class carrier on a transatlantic route. The 18-month-old startup airline will be merged with BA subsidiary OpenSkies. The two operators have been code-sharing for less than one month between Paris Orly and New York. OpenSkies and L’Avion use JFK and Newark Airports, respectively.
Britain’s “boutique” air carrier Silverjet ceased operations in May, becoming the third such airline to collapse within the last six months. MAXjet launched service in November 2005 and by Christmas Eve 2007 had ceased operations. Competitor Eos, which began service just a month before MAXjet, lasted just four months longer, filing for bankruptcy in April.
Can a stand-alone all-business-class “boutique” airline make it as a private-jet alternative? With the failure of transatlantic carriers MAXjet in December and Eos in April, some are questioning the possibility of success for the business model.
Eos, the all-business-class airline launched in 2005, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Saturday and flew its last flight yesterday. The Purchase, N.Y.-based airline operated an upscale, twice-daily service between New York JFK and London Stansted Airport, charging round-trip prices ranging from $3,500 to $9,000.
European Airlines have announced plans to link Dubai nonstop to Scandinavia and by business-class-only service to the UK and the U.S. Unlikely though it might seem, no UAE carrier currently provides nonstop service to the Nordic region. Now, a European operator has met that challenge from the other end of the route: Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) this month launched three-times-weekly flights from the Danish capital Copenhagen to Dubai.
Can an airline ever realistically hope to match the level of service and intimate environment a private jet offers? Silverjet Aviation thinks it can, and in January it launched what it calls Silver Service between London and New York with a dramatically modified Boeing 767-200. It might not be a private jet, but in terms of cabin comfort and amenities, it isn’t far from it, and on price it’s more than competitive.
Silverjet, a new UK-based all-first-class, long-haul airline, is recruiting captains and copilots for its initial London-New York route, due to begin service between December and April. The public company intends to operate Boeing 767s equipped with 102 flat-bed seats.