I don’t think anyone saw that one coming. My colleague Lori Ranson on Air Transport Intelligence had a very interesting story yesterday that British Airways’ OpenSkies unit is asking for authority to codeshare on Paris-New York with Elysair – which is the parent company of French all-premium carrier L’Avion. L’Avion flies daily New York Newark-Paris Orly with Boeing 757s, which is where the plot thickens.The codeshare request is for Orly-JFK, with the possibility of being extended to Paris CDG-Newark. OpenSkies is currently intending to operate to JFK. So it appears that it will fly from Orly, and the request is to begin the codeshare “on or about June 19″.
Other commentators have suggested that L’Avion would be vulnerable if it had the same sort of competition that crushed Eos and Maxjet on London-New York. Well maybe, but the French market is notoriously difficult to crack – and BA has the scars to prove it after its horrible Air Liberte foray in the 1990s. So a codeshare may indeed be the smart thing.
And L’Avion is doing OK as far as can be told. I tried a hypothetical booking on New York-Paris next week. The fare is as little as $1,350 on Tuesday, but $3,300 on Sunday, and sold out on Monday and Wednesday.