OpenSkies and L’Avion announce codeshare, merge closer

OpenSkies and L’Avion, two of the last remaining all-premium carriers (arguably, THE last remaining carrier as OpenSkies acquired their competitor earlier this year) just announced a codeshare agreement between the two airlines, effectively increasing the number of available flights serachable from each carrier at any particular time.

The step brings them ever-so-closer to a complete merger of the two entities, although there is still no word on when/if the L’Avion planes will be rebadged and integrated into the OpenSkies fleet.

The codeshare agreement also means that those flying on L’Avion can now earn British Airways Executive Club miles, a huge benefit for business travelers and frankly a former concern from many prospective passengers.

Note that this still doesn’t mean that one can earn OneWorld miles. On the phone with one of OpenSkies PR reps last week, I asked about when or if they would be looking into this. The rep said that she’d look into it.

British Airways buys L’avion, transatlantic business class market successfully monopolized

British Airways just announced that it was buying L’avion, the struggling business-class-only carrier that has recently been operating flights between New York‘s JFK airport and Paris‘s Orly.

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.