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Business Only Airlines Are Finally Here?  
User currently offlineMrComet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 600 posts, RR: 7
Posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 3399 times:

There seems to be more efforts in the industry to do business only airlines: Primaris, Privatair, ANAs 737ERs and others. To me, the ultimate luxury is not having to board an A380 with 1000 other people. Nicer to have a luxurious gate with a smaller aircraft with a lounge style interior.

Are we at the start of a new trend or is this another false promise.

I see it as a natural splintering of the industry offering more choices. All airlines once were for the super rich anyway in the 1920s. Then they added steerage. Are we going back?

The dude abides
7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3347 times:


I'd check back in about 76 years.

OK bad joke. Business only routes like those prioneered by LH using Privatair seemed to have worked, but I haven't seen anything yet that suggests they worked incrediby well.

Business only airlines like Primaris, MaxJet and EOS seem either to be struggling to get aloft, or stay aloft.

OzJet in Oz was a total joke and was thrown out of the market so fast its undercarriage scarcely made an impression. Its market share was equivalent to a statistical margin of error.

A common issue for business only airlines is that there really aren't too many rich individuals out there able to chose their own carrier contrary to the dictates of corporate travel policies that lock people into whatever the company has negotiated with whichever airline.

And companies are very reluctant to pay for premium fares anyhow these days.

The rich bastards are all in their BBJs, or if its me, the first class suites on an Emirates A345.

I think corporate airlines, that is, a company that fully leases say two or three Global Expresses, is a real chance, but otherwise, being a business only airline is an incredibly quick way to burn money while the big carriers target your offerings with deals on more frequent business or first class deals that will only last as long as it takes the lessors to reposses your jets.

The big money in my humble uneducated opinion will come to carriers that offer a really good premium economy class, semi naked oil wrestling women flight attendants, and a broadband link for the workaholics.


User currently offlineIrobertson From Canada, joined Apr 2006, 601 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3275 times:

I've been wondering about this idea of an all-business class airline for a little while now. I first got to thinking about it after pricing trips between YYZ and LHR with Air Canada. Their "Leisure" economy class can get as low as $508+tax (CDN). Their next class up is "Latitude" at $1838 (over three times the price) and then "Executive First Class" at $5672 (just over ten times the price!).

Now something tells me that if an airline got its act together, laid out an A330 or A342 in a business class layout and offering a level of service that was more luxurious than cattle class but not quite executive pampering, they could probably fill that plane daily or bi-daily between YYZ and LHR for less than Air Canada's Latitude price, say around $1500, or even less.

What do you think? A "low-fare" business class carrier? LFBCC?  Smile I think it might be worth trying...

User currently offlineMrComet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 600 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3213 times:

Quoting Irobertson (Reply 2):
What do you think? A "low-fare" business class carrier? LFBCC?

That's what I was thinking. You pick only the major routes (JFK-LHR, LHR-SYD, LHR-DUB) where you have lots of business travelers. You ditch the complex fare structures. You sell seats in bulk to corporations like coupons (100 legs for $150,000). You run it like a shuttle - last minute booking. You offer lounges, private rooms or sleeping areas for more money and other amenities like high speed internet. You can load very quickly and disembark very quickly.

I think it is where we are heading. Somebody just has to do it right.

The dude abides
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3138 times:


You do all those things for the 200 or so people who pay top dollar out of Sydney to London on a peak day, divided between QF,SQ,CX,EK,TG and MH
and you go broke fairly quickly.

Do that for the other half of the week with no peak days (or during holidays) and you vanish without trace.

Business is cruel. The established carriers have bulk deals on fuel, handling, airport lease arrangements and so forth simply unavailable for the newbies.

They have rusted on customers who covet their 'status' with the airline and do ludicrous things like mileage runs just so their bit of coloured plastic tells them their unremarkable lives have some shred of meaning, and all of those other silly things that come with brand loyalty.

I sympathise with what you are suggesting, but you have to spend a huge amount of money getting your 'brand' to market.

One of the reasons Virgin Blue did so well in Oz was that it used the well known Virgin brand as a battering ram to get into the market. Everyone had heard of Virgin, whether good or bad things didn't matter, they knew the brand. At the same time Virgin was saying 'look we're an airline as well as a record shop run by a playboy billionaire' its rival Impulse Airlines was burning its way through around $100 million, and market surveys found that when people were asked who Impulse was about 90% of the respondents thought it was a deodorant spray which spent big on ads with the tag line 'on Impulse'.

PrivatAir is on the right track I'm sure in that it uses the likes of Lufthansa to sell its business only service, a much less risky procedure than trying to explain to hard nosed corporate flyers on both sides of the Atlantic what Privair (or by anaology EOS or MaxJet) really means.


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 8646 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3041 times:

Surely one of the 'needs' of the business traveler is to travel at a time when he or she wants to travel and not at the time that a small business class only airline wants to fly. Another is to be as sure as possible that the flight he or she is booked on departs on time, a difficult need for an airline with a handful of aircraft to meet when one of their aircraft is delayed by a French air traffic controllers' strike or when another goes tech.

So is not the wise business traveller likely to fly LHR-JFK on BA and return JFK-LHR on AA to meet these needs?

Certainly BA seem to be on the ball with their premium class customers. Premium class revenue passenger kilometers were up by 15 per cent in March 2006 compared to March 2005 despite the emerging business-class-only airlines (although these figures were boosted by Easter being in March in 2005 and not in March in 2006).

User currently offlineMrComet From Ireland, joined Mar 2005, 600 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2998 times:

Quoting Antares (Reply 4):
I sympathise with what you are suggesting, but you have to spend a huge amount of money getting your 'brand' to market.

Ok...Good points. Privitair does seem to have a good model and the availability now of small, long-range jets like the BBJ and A319LR seem to make this even more possible. They are acting like a Comair or other commuter style airliner. They can sell their seats to the big boys and add capacity as needed.

So why doesn't a big boy like United (if they weren't broke) or better yet Lufthansa or BA start a version of United's "Ted" (maybe called "Theodore") that does for business what LCCs do. You then get the marketing muscle of a big boy with the benefits of a big alliance to keep your planes full. Seems reasonable.

The dude abides
User currently offlineAntares From Australia, joined Jun 2004, 1402 posts, RR: 38
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2973 times:

Theodore! Cool. Or kewl as the youngest Antarians have a habit of saying.

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