The fall of OpenSkies?

OpenSkies, the all-business-class subsidiary of British Airways has always been fighting an uphill battle. At only one year old, the airline has always struggled to earn and maintain a customer base. Now with demand on the wane and airlines cutting back, OpenSkies might soon be on the chopping block.

The model, it seemed, was valid. A smaller plane with all business and first class seats could consume less fuel, sell fewer seats at a slightly higher price and still make a profit. But as Eos, Silverjet and Maxjet all showed, there just might not be enough demand for business class seats to warrant an entire widebody aircraft full of them.

Now, with British Airways launching business-class service between London (LCY) and New York on a tiny A318 aircraft, the niche crowd may move to that product. That leaves very little space for OpenSkies. According to The Guardian, this means that BA may want to sell of or cancel the service.

No official word has come from the BA, naturally, so the airline may survive yet. Having personally flown the service a few times, I hope they make it. But in a market as tight as this, the top of the hill is a long way off.