London City Airport sits right at the heart of the UK capital's financial district, making it a key airport for business travellers. If short-haul business class is going to work anywhere, it's here.
But yesterday key London City operator CityJet announced that it has decided to scrap its business class in favour of a premium-economy product.
Surely this is a sign of today's troubled times - or is it? The new "CityPlus" product includes full ticket flexibility, lounge access, priority airport processing and boarding, seats at the front of the aircraft and doubled frequent-flyer points - which leaves me questioning exactly what's changed.
Sure, the fares are going to be set a bit lower and there will be a seat-back marker in the cabin rather than a curtain, but by all accounts this seems like a very poorly disguised business class.
My feeling is that this is a work-around, aimed at attracting business class traffic without the label, much like premium economy on long-haul. It will tick all the right boxes for the corporate travel departments and make the business men and woman happy because they get to cut a dash for home as soon as their work is done.
But it's an interesting development because this could be an indicator about the future of short-haul business travel.
We've heard British Airways chief Willie Walsh's comments about fundamental changes in short-haul business travel and yesterday CityJet chief executive Geoffrey O'Byrne White told me that he believes the business-class cabin on short-haul routes is "pretty well" dead.
"There's no doubt about it, a lot of corporate travel policies have changed," says O'Byrne White. "The benefits of business-class travel have been abandoned by a lot of corporate travel people because it's an obvious target for cutbacks, especially on short-haul travel." Large corporations are switching their travel policy, he adds, opting for "the best price on the day", creating difficulties for airline planning and forecasting.
Unfortunately O'Byrne White was unable to comment about the impact of the crisis on business traffic from London City. They have been changing too much because of the acquisition of Belgium's VLM Airlines to make meaningful comparisons.
But as an indicator of short-haul business travel, watch this space.