OpenSkies to start flying Paris Orly to Washington Dulles

Hey, here’s some exciting news. After OpenSkies “suspended” their service between New York and Amsterdam to “refocus business efforts” I was convinced they were taking their last breath, as much as I really wanted them to succeed. Well, the all business class airline will be starting five times weekly service between Paris Orly and Washington Dulles on May 3.

I do have to ask myself, however, whether this route will make it or not. Like I said I love the airline and really want them to succeed, but I can’t begin to rationalize this route. While I’m sure they’ve done a lot more research than I have, hear me out. A good chunk of the “profitable” passengers flying between Washington and Paris are traveling on government business. I imagine the French will fly Air France and the Americans will fly United. They’re not necessarily looking for the lowest fare but instead are restricted by what cabin they fly. Besides, you’ll get more frequencies/options with both Air France or United. I always think of OpenSkies as a great airline for either the wealthier leisure traveler or a company that’s willing to pay for more than coach but not quite full fare business class. And I just don’t see there being a huge market for that in Washington.

Or maybe I’m off base? Either way I wish them the best of luck and hopefully continued expansion.

Filed Under: British Airways
  1. US government travel is almost certain to be restricted by the Fly America Act ( and govenrment employees, contractors, and other government-funded travelers aren’t likely to be permitted to fly this service.

    But of course the OpenSkies folks know this!

    DC really isn’t the highest-yield market. United can at least feed its DC transatlatnic hub, presumably this flight will rely sold on O/D traffic.

    The only ”justification’ for this route I can think of is that Air France’s business class product is really quite bad, and United still services the route with 777s featuring ancient business class seats.

    And how many transatlantic city pairs can a 757 service? I mean, they’re not going to start Los Angeles – Paris service with those birds!

    Much as I hate to say it I can’t imagine this lasting long-term.

  2. Whats the state of alliance and codeshare ties? I assume that OS is part of OneWorld through BA. Can they sell through tickets on AA?

  3. Then again, Government is the only part of the economy that is growing, and their unions negotiate lots of vacation time, so maybe DC makes sense!

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