Now there are seven airlines operating scheduled all-premium services and more are expected to join this new sector over the next year or two, is this new carrier grouping worthy of a name?
Boeing, for example, has begun calling these carriers APC for all-premium carriers. Boeing Capital managing director capital markets development Kostya Zolotusky says the manufacturer is beginning to track developments in the APC sector because it expects growth could lead to new orders, although it has not yet built these into its annual aircraft order forecasts.
“We think the model has merit,” Zolotusky says. “If APCs are successful, it will be very destabilising” for legacy carriers.
Craig Jenks, president of Airline/Aircraft Projects, a New York-based consultancy that tracks transatlantic capacity changes, also thinks the all-premium trend is big enough to be given a name. “These new airlines need a name,” Jenks says. “How about BOS for business-only specialists?”
The BOS name should be used mainly for the four all-premium start-up carriers now operating in the North Atlantic market. “Four is a party. There is enough there. It’s a phenomenon,” Jenks says.
Three of these carriers currently operate in the New York-London market. Zolotusky says these carriers combined have an 18-20% share of the premium market between London and New York. “It’s an interesting new development we’re tracking carefully,” he says. “If this new business model is successful it will lead to further fragmentation and the use of smaller aircraft across the Atlantic. Clearly APCs will need smaller airplanes.”