British Airways’ OpenSkies subsidiary has launched operations today, with the departure of its first New York-bound flight.

OpenSkies’ inaugural service left Paris Orly for New York JFK at 10:49, six minutes ahead of schedule, says a British Airways spokesman. He adds that the flight, which is scheduled to land in New York at 13:25, is full.

 © British Airways


The transatlantic start-up, which has been created to take advantage of the European-US open skies agreement, operates a low-density Boeing 757 configured with 82 seats in a three-class configuration.

British Airways CEO Willie Walsh says: “While the economic climate has worsened in recent months, we believe that OpenSkies can compete effectively. It has a low cost base and support from British Airways in key areas such as sales and marketing.

“This differentiates it from some new airlines that have failed recently which were operating in isolation without the backing of an established carrier.”

Walsh adds that the departure marks the company’s first operations between continental Europe and the USA. “We are confident that OpenSkies will have a successful future. OpenSkies will become a test-bed for new customer services and on-board products that we hope to integrate into British Airways’ fleet,” he says.

OpenSkies is due to take delivery of a second ex-British Airways 757 later this year. It plans to have six aircraft by the end of 2009. BA says other European destinations under review include Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news

AirSpace gallery - BA's OpenSkies

Source: Flight International