Gary Rogliano, who led all-business class Maxjet into the high-end transatlantic luxury airline wars, left the year-old Washington Dulles-based carrier after an apparent dust up with his board of directors. The airline said he was “leaving to pursue other opportunities”, which is press release for “shown the door”.
Rogliano left shortly after the carrier began flying its 102-seat Boeing 767s between London Stansted and Las Vegas. That was its third route after New York JFK and Washington Dulles routes to and from Stansted, and the Las Vegas flight is reportedly doing box-office business. But the market is getting more crowded with a UK-based entrant, SilverJet, planning to start up next year, as well as an French all-business carrier, Elysair, also eyeing an early 2007 start.
Eos, offering all sleeping seats, began on the same week as Maxjet, and now plans an expansion with a new $75 million infusion of capital that will let it buy new Boeing 757s to convert into its 48-seat configuration.
The Maxjet marketing and selling point was “affordable luxury”, which it defines as an almost lie-flat seat in an all business-class aircraft. Eos, by contrast, has full beds in small, enclosed sections. Competition in the market, though, has made fares competitive in this niche segment, chipping away slightly at the Maxjet advantage.
Taking Rogliano’s place as president and chief executive is Bill Stockbridge, its chairman and one of its founders. A veteran of the air cargo industry, Stockbridge is a member of the Richmond, Virginia, group of wealthy investors who started Maxjet.
Read our chief executive interview with Rogliano.