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Business class bargain

New airline offers all business class New York to Paris-slide0
Photo: La Compagnie

By David Stewart White

A new all business-class airline is offering a New York-Paris roundtrip flight for two for $2,014. The bargain fare can only be booked through August 30 for travel ending by September 15.

After the introduction, fares will start at about $1,800 per person. That price is designed to meet the airline's goal of "personalized service at respectable fares.” The fare is slightly higher than premium economy service on rival airlines, but less than many business class fares.

The airline, La Compagnie, has just one aircraft, flying roundtrip between Newark and Paris Charles De Gaulle airports. The renovated Boeing 757 features a single class service with 74 business class seats in a two-by-two configuration. Bonuses touted by La Compagnie include gourmet French food and wine and individual tablet entertainment devices.

Roomy seats recline to 180-degrees on the 757, but are not the true "flat-bed" seats offered by some transatlantic airlines. There are other differences between La Compagnie's services and business class on some competing airlines. After the introductory fare period, pre-boarding use of airport lounges is offered only to fliers buying non-discounted tickets. Arrivals lounges are not offered in Newark or Paris.

The airline plans to add another plane in December. La Compagnie contracts aircraft maintenance with a subsidiary of Icelandair.

French aviation entrepreneur Yvelin Frantz founded La Compagnie. His previous all-business class air venture, L'Avion, was acquired by British Airways and now operates as part of BA's Open Skies subsidiary.