Whoa: La Compagnie Launching Tel Aviv & Milan Flights

Whoa: La Compagnie Launching Tel Aviv & Milan Flights

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Wow, I didn’t see this coming. All business class transatlantic airline La Compagnie has historically only flown between Newark States and France (Paris year-round, Nice seasonally), while the airline will now be expanding with two new routes. This follows the airline having been grounded for well over a year due to the pandemic.

La Compagnie launches Paris to Tel Aviv route

La Compagnie has put tickets on sale for a new route between Paris Orly (ORY) and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport (TLV). The new route is expected to operate 3x weekly between July 22 and October 19, 2021, with the following schedule:

B0400 Paris to Tel Aviv departing 10:10AM arriving 3:40PM
B0401 Tel Aviv to Paris departing 5:10AM arriving 9:00AM

The flight will cover a distance of 2,043 miles in each direction, and will operate eastbound on Mondays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and westbound on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

La Compagnie will be selling tickets both between Paris and Tel Aviv, as well as between Newark and Tel Aviv, given that these flights are timed for connecting passengers. La Compagnie’s Paris to Newark service operates with the following schedule:

B0100 Paris to Newark departing 10:30AM arriving 1:00PM
B0101 Newark to Paris departing 7:00PM arriving 8:40AM (+1 day)

As you can see, this is a pretty efficient routing for those traveling between the United States and Israel, as the layovers in each direction are only around 90 minutes.

La Compagnie is launching flights to Tel Aviv

La Compagnie launches Newark to Milan route

Not only is La Compagnie adding a new service between Paris and Tel Aviv, but the airline is also adding a new transatlantic route. La Compagnie has put tickets on sale for a new route between Milan (MXP) and Newark (EWR). The new route is expected to operate 4x weekly between November 29, 2021, and March 12, 2022, with the following schedule:

B0300 Milan to Newark departing 1:35PM arriving 5:10PM
B0301 Newark to Milan departing 9:50PM arriving 12:15PM (+1 day)

The flight will cover a distance of 4,010 miles in each direction, and will operate eastbound on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and westbound on Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and westbound on Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

La Compagnie is launching flights to Milan

What are fares like on these new routes?

La Compagnie is known for its attractive business class fares, and fares here are quite good:

  • Roundtrip Newark to Tel Aviv (via Paris) fares start at $2,000
  • Roundtrip Paris to Tel Aviv fares start at 1,000€
  • Roundtrip Newark to Milan fares start at $1,700
  • Unfortunately one-way fares seem to be significantly more than half the cost of a roundtrip for now

This initial pricing is allegedly valid for flights booked through July 15, though it’s capacity controlled, so you won’t find that kind of pricing on all dates. La Compagnie is known for constantly running fare sales, so I’d expect to find these kinds of fares in the future as well if you’re flexible.

La Compagnie has exceptional business class fares

My take on La Compagnie’s expansion

While La Compagnie was a bit of a mess when it launched back in 2014, the airline has come a long way. La Compagnie operates two brand new Airbus A321neos with an excellent onboard product. The airline offers a unique value proposition in the markets it operates in.

I really want to see La Compagnie not only survive but also thrive, because I think there’s huge value to customers in having a more consistently affordable long haul business class airline.

Furthermore, La Compagnie has had it especially tough during the pandemic. The airline was grounded for about 15 months, given that it exclusively flew between the United States and France, and there was virtually no demand for such flights. I’m happy to see that the airline has managed to survive through these tough times.

That brings us to these two new routes:

  • The new Paris to Tel Aviv service seems like it could be a smart move, given that the airline can serve both the Paris to Tel Aviv market, and the Newark to Tel Aviv market, both of which are sizable
  • A winter-only service between Newark and Milan is puzzling to me, though; that route is counter-seasonal, and the New York area to Milan is already one of the most competitive transatlantic routes, and it’s also a fifth freedom route that Emirates serves
  • It takes a long time to build brand awareness in a market, so I question the viability of these routes being offered for just a few months at a time
  • I find it interesting that La Compagnie’s second transatlantic route isn’t from France to another city in the United States, but rather than from another country to the United States

I’m curious to see how these new services play out, and if they do in fact both launch.

La Compagnie’s business class catering

Bottom line

All business class airline La Compagnie has been grounded for well over a year due to the pandemic. The airline is finally resuming operations, but not just in the markets it previously served. Rather the airline is launching two new routes that I didn’t see coming — first we’ll see a Paris to Tel Aviv route this summer and fall, and then we’ll see a Newark to Milan route this winter.

I can make sense of the Paris to Tel Aviv, while the Newark to Milan route is a bit more of a mystery to me, especially given the counter-seasonality.

What do you make of La Compagnie’s new routes?

Conversations (17)
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  1. SKF Guest

    Prior to COVID I traveled to London a few times a year, mostly DL or Skyteam. I want to fly La Campagnie and then hop a fly to London (I have done that in the past into CDG), but there never seemed to be any good flights to London. It seemed impossible to find direct (no Easy Jet or Ryan for me), or the pricing was much worse than CDG. Maybe I just was not...

    Prior to COVID I traveled to London a few times a year, mostly DL or Skyteam. I want to fly La Campagnie and then hop a fly to London (I have done that in the past into CDG), but there never seemed to be any good flights to London. It seemed impossible to find direct (no Easy Jet or Ryan for me), or the pricing was much worse than CDG. Maybe I just was not doing the right search, but I never found a good way to get to London by flying them. Granted, they are not set up to be a feeder into London, but I would have liked to try them.

  2. iamhere Guest

    "Unfortunately one-way fares seem to be significantly more than half the cost of a roundtrip for now" Usually true. Not really worth saying.

  3. Maximus Prime Guest

    I've seen a La Compagnie plane a week ago in Athens ... maybe they will serve this (I guess seasonally pretty interesting) market, too?

  4. Jessica Betandy Guest

    There is significant business travel within the fashion industry between NYC and Milan and it tends to be more during the non-summer months.

    1. Bubba Guest

      Also, MXP is a good way north of Milan, and about 55 miles from the Matterhorn (as the helo flies). What's La Compagnie's policy on ski equipment?

    2. 305 Guest

      100%. Milan is the business/fashion capital of Italy. Lots of demand for J class, and it’s mostly not tourists. Those who are vacationing via MXP would most likely be going in the winter for skiing (as bubba says below).

      Very very few Americans have Milan on their “summer Italy vacation bucket list”. There’s so many better cities to visit, and more direct service was coming to some of those pre-COVID (Venezia, Napoli, Palermo, and...

      100%. Milan is the business/fashion capital of Italy. Lots of demand for J class, and it’s mostly not tourists. Those who are vacationing via MXP would most likely be going in the winter for skiing (as bubba says below).

      Very very few Americans have Milan on their “summer Italy vacation bucket list”. There’s so many better cities to visit, and more direct service was coming to some of those pre-COVID (Venezia, Napoli, Palermo, and of course Roma-Fiumicino. AA even tried Bologna, no?)

  5. Pierre Guest

    La Compagnie now belongs to the Moulin Family (Galeries Lafayette Group). Hence the big pockets and the survival during the lockdown.

    These people know how to make a business work and I am not surprised to see the expansion. Actually, we can probably expect more. Also, and I am not privy to any information, I fully expect them to make contingency plans for an Aircraft On Ground situation and for taking care of stranded passengers. That is how they operate.

  6. Alvin Guest

    Would be helpful if they got TSA Precheck!

  7. Miguel Guest

    Oy Vey, menu suggestions;
    Gefilte fish pate For appetizer, matzoh ball beef bourguignon for main, and Manischewitz Wine to wash it all down. Yummm

  8. robert w. Guest

    Friendly reminder that La Compagnie has no back up plan if a plane breaks or something goes wrong. I had to spend thousands on a one-way economy American Airlines ticket to get back from Paris when the La Compagnie plane broke down. Apparently this happens a lot.

    1. shoeguy Gold

      A great reminder as to why airlines like this are risky to book with. I had a similar issue with Norwegian a few years ago (long past the Dreamliner debacle). A network carrier has its pluses and minuses, but the ability to leverage alliance networks, their scale usually outweighs a niche carrier or disruptor, when things go wrong.

  9. shoeguy Gold

    EWR-MXP is just weird. The NYC-MXP market isn't saturated, but it is well served (DL, AA, EK, UA..and AZ though it's not clear if that will actually continue).

    1. snic Diamond

      NYC-Paris is also well served. But it is not well served with a business class product at La Compagnie's price point.

      The winter-only schedule does seem weird to me, though. I imagine that a good chunk of the airline's market consists of upper-middle-class tourists who don't want to pay $5000 per person for business class tickets for their families' vacations. Who vacations in Italy in winter?

  10. 23H Guest

    ORY-TLV seasonally makes perfect sense. COVID-aside, summer in Tel Aviv is always absolutely full of well-heeled French tourists. Add the connecting traffic from EWR and I can see this returning next year.

    Worth noting that AF has also upgraded some CDG-TLV flights to widebody aircraft... they had been all A320/21 for years.

  11. ECR Gold

    Unrelated, but just got an Amex offer for 7 additional points/$ on Amazon (and Bestbuy too if anyone still goes there). Pretty great.

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305 Guest

100%. Milan is the business/fashion capital of Italy. Lots of demand for J class, and it’s mostly not tourists. Those who are vacationing via MXP would most likely be going in the winter for skiing (as bubba says below). Very very few Americans have Milan on their “summer Italy vacation bucket list”. There’s so many better cities to visit, and more direct service was coming to some of those pre-COVID (Venezia, Napoli, Palermo, and of course Roma-Fiumicino. AA even tried Bologna, no?)

0
SKF Guest

Prior to COVID I traveled to London a few times a year, mostly DL or Skyteam. I want to fly La Campagnie and then hop a fly to London (I have done that in the past into CDG), but there never seemed to be any good flights to London. It seemed impossible to find direct (no Easy Jet or Ryan for me), or the pricing was much worse than CDG. Maybe I just was not doing the right search, but I never found a good way to get to London by flying them. Granted, they are not set up to be a feeder into London, but I would have liked to try them.

0
Bubba Guest

Also, MXP is a good way north of Milan, and about 55 miles from the Matterhorn (as the helo flies). What's La Compagnie's policy on ski equipment?

0
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