La Compagnie Suspends NYC to London Flights, Blames Brexit
Bad news for those who bought the La Compagnie unlimited flight pass: La Compagnie announced yesterday that it's suspending its New York to London flights (caution: PDF link). Effective Sunday, September 25, La Compagnie will stop flying between NYC and London. In place of this route, La Compagnie will add a second daily flight between NYC and Paris "as soon as October 2016."
If you have a flight booked on La Compagnie on or after September 25, the company is offering either a full refund or re-booking onto the NYC-Paris flight. Considering the last-minute nature of the route cancellation, this is going to leave passengers with the choice of booking close-in fares on the route they wanted, transiting between London and Paris or re-planning their trip to a new city.
The airline cites the "new economic climate and aviation landscape in Europe following the recent United Kingdom European Union membership referendum" as the reason for the suspension. In short: Brexit. However, the United Kingdom hasn't taken any solid steps since the referendum in June 2016 to formalize leaving the European Union. Even once it does, it'll still take two years to complete the process.
In the suspension notice, the airline bragged about its "above 77 percent" load factor between NYC-London. This is within range of what La Compagnie's competitors are seeing system-wide (2015: American Airlines-83.3%, British Airways-81.5% and Virgin Atlantic-76.8%). Also, this isn't much worse than what the airline is getting on its NYC-Paris route "where loads are already more than 80 percent."
Perhaps La Compagnie needed to achieve an even-higher load factor to make up for its discount business-class prices. Considering the price, TPG found La Compagnie to be quite an excellent value for flying business class across the Atlantic.
Although we are bummed to see the loss of a discount business-class option to London, there are some potential benefits to travelers from this change. La Compagnie currently has one aircraft each on two routes: NYC-London and NYC-Paris. Starting in October, La Compagnie will have two aircraft on the same NYC-Paris route. This will come in handy when one aircraft has a mechanical issue. Rather than leaving passengers stranded, it can fill up the other flight on this route with stranded passengers who don't have a flexible schedule.
Are you affected by this La Compagnie cancellation?