We here at Gadling have been speculating on the future of the small, proud airline recently. Considering the price of fuel and the trouble that niche, business-class-only carriers have had in the recent market, we even put it on Gadling’s Hit List (one down, four to go!) among airlines at risk for bankruptcy, liquidation or buyouts this summer.
BA must be reading our articles and wanted to take advantage of the carrier whilie they were off balance.
Or perhaps this is a strategic acquisition to give more breathing room for BA’s own daughter New York-Paris niche carrier, Open Skies to operate. With one less competitor in the market, Open Skies will surely now be able to dominate.
Indeed, this Reuters article says that L’avion will now become part of the Open Skies network. As far as integration, I’m not sure how the aircraft and staff will be placed — on the JFK-ORY route or on another of the new airline’s planned routes.
One thing is for certain however: with one less player in the transatlantic business class market, prices will surely go up.