Theories on Openskies and the business class market

Blogger Grant and the Crankyflier were recently chewing the fat about OpenSkies airlines, the new business-class-only niche carrier that’s opening up service between New York and Paris later this month. We both considered invitations on the inaugural flight coming up on June 20 but unfortunately couldn’t accept due to previous (and bureaucratic) obligations.

I also noticed that the new carrier is offering members of the chance to get one of twenty free seats that the airline is offering exclusively to its members (there’s still time to sign up). It seems like a pretty sweet way to cater to a highly focused market and a great idea.

Is their close connection to the consumer and media base only proactive marketing though? What if they giving away seats not because they’re trying to make a buzz but because they can’t fill them in the first place? We all saw what happened to Silverjet, Eos and Maxjet. What if the business class market dried up before Openskies even got there?

Speculation aside, one thing is for certain: we’ll never know until it’s too late. Take for example a question we asked Openskies in an upcoming Q&A:

GAD: With the recent struggles seen in business-class-only and niche carriers in the transatlantic sector, how do you plan to succeed in a tight market?

OpenSkies: OpenSkies will offer guests superior service, competitive fares and exceptional value. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of British Airways, OpenSkies will combine the expertise of one of the world’s biggest and most successful airlines with the passion of a start up.

Perhaps there is no getting past the PR smoke and mirrors.

We’ll see how things turn out after first flight next week and some of the preliminary loads start coming in. Lets hope that the buzz catches on and that OpenSkies meets wild success.