OpenSkies to Cease Operations in 2018
After a 10-year run, British Airways has confirmed that its boutique airline OpenSkies will cease to exist in 2018. The airline, which only flies between New York (EWR and JFK) and Paris Orly (ORY), will fly for the last time at the end of summer 2018.
OpenSkies, the BA subsidiary, is owned by parent company International Airlines Group (IAG), which also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and new low-cost carrier LEVEL. A spokesperson for OpenSkies said that the carrier's staff "will then be dedicated to LEVEL's Paris operations" after it folds. According to Travel Market Report, LEVEL will use the former OpenSkies crew to build out a second hub. It's current and only hub is in Barcelona (BCN).
LEVEL announced it was going to begin 4x weekly service between New York (EWR) and Paris (ORY) beginning September 4. While OpenSkies has confirmed that it will cease operations, flights are still bookable through British Airways' website as of this writing.
OpenSkies was founded in 2008 with hopes of offering service from several European destinations to the US. The carrier operates a total of four aircraft — one 767-300 and three 757-200s. According to an OpenSkies spokesperson, the carrier's aircraft will be returned to their owners/lessors at the end of their lease term.
TPG flew with OpenSkies in a lie-flat Biz Bed set and found the experience to be comfortable, though it's certainly not one of the world's best business-class products. The carrier also offers Premium Plus (premium economy) and Eco (economy) products. Though OpenSkies offers three cabin products, it often competes directly with another boutique airline, La Compagnie, which offers all-business-class flights on the New York-Paris route.