Announced last week, a new airline carrier will be taking to the skies soon - La Compagnie (French for "The Company") will be offering up premium flights daily, between Newark International and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Setting La Compagnie apart is their niche focus, offering only business class seating and doing so at an incredibly competitive price point. Currently scheduled for 4-5 Trans-Atlantic flights per week, a second aircraft, provided by Icelandair, will be added to the La Compagnie fleet in early December, doubling availability. At present, their sole aircraft, a Boeing 757-200, has been redesigned to accommodate 74 lie-flat seats in 2x2 configurations with a single middle aisle sans class curtains.
Drawing heavily from their French aesthetic sensibilities, La Compagnie has transformed the 757-200's dilapidated cabin with a meticulous eye for detail. Rich leather, wood-paneling, and muted pastel blues welcome travelers and airline personnel don elegant, signature uniforms designed by French fashion house Vicomte A. La Compagnie is no stranger to luxury, a fact which is evident to those who look closely at their impressive display of in-flight amenities. Where an average airline provides a recently-used blanket and cheese and cracker boxes which cost upwards of $7, La Compagnie breaks free from austere conventions and treats travelers to a far superior service. All passengers will enjoy travel kits that include cosmetic products by famed French skincare company, Caudalie, and in-flight meals crafted by the Michelin-starred chef Christopher Langree. Also included are Samsung tablets for each passenger, pre loaded with a variety of e-books, music, movies, and internet access afforded by complementary in-flight WiFi.
The price structure for this luxury travel experience is yet to be fully disclosed, although starting price is said to be approximately $1600. Tickets will be on sale in July once the pending approvals from U.S. DOT and FAA have cleared.
Aviation entrepreneur Frantz Yvelin and former Jet Airways executive Peter Luethi are the founders of La Compagnie and the duo has a history of successfully piloting new airline companies. But in spite of the pair's long tenure as successful businessmen in the aviation industry, many have their doubts that La Compagnie can establish market traction in such a specialized field. A host of business-class-exclusive ventures have failed in previous years as the mainstream carriers began upgrading their top tier offerings, making them competitive in this space. Quoted at the NYC launch conference, Peter Leuthi said,
"It is not the same model as has been tried before. It is not a déjà vu [...] it is not going to be the most luxurious business class, but it will be the best for the price."
Mildly reassuring words from La Compagnie's fearless leader, but only time will tell if this revamped luxury trend will be a successful venture.
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