Showing himself to be the very model of a modern airline CEO, Dale Moss has gone public with British Airways’ new operation from ‘somewhere in Europe’ to ‘the New York area’ by launching a blog. And he’s done it primarily in the USA (in the sense that that’s where all the contact details apart from the London snail-mail address are listed.)This of course is the entity formerly known as Project Lauren. It’s now known as OpenSkies and will fly three-class, wingletted Boeing 757s. That’s business class, premium-economy and economy-economy.
First flight promised for June, but trivial stuff like just from where to where is yet to be revealed. It’ll be either Paris or Brussels at the European end and a New York airport at the US end. Addison Schonland at IAG reckons Brussels – I’m not exactly sure why, but Belgium’s lack of a flag-carrier is obviously pertinent. In any case OpenSkies plans to have half a dozen aircraft flying to both cities plus some others within the first year.
What’s for sure is that much work remains to be done on the marketing front. The British mid-market tabloid Daily Mail calls OpenSkies ‘low-cost luxury’ - for reasons that aren’t clear to me as it doesn’t appear to be luxurious, and we don’t know anything about the pricing yet. The Times says fares will be competitive. North American publications aren’t taking a view – although they may get some guidance as the day progresses.
The British media had the chance to pump BA CEO Willie Walsh for more information today when the airline hosted its annual New Year lunchtime bash in London. BA CEOs use the occasion to be as open as they ever will be about pretty much anything – but nobody seems to be much the wiser after today’s thrash.