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Brexit spells end for La Compagnie London-New York flights

The fallout of Brexit is clearly evident now. In its first ever major fallout all-business class French boutique carrier La Compagnie recently announced that it is suspending flights services on its only route to New York’s Newark Liberty from London’s Luton Airport.

La Compagnie, which is headquartered in Paris, announced that it would be stopping its business class flights to New York from London in September this year because of the “new economic climate in Europe”, which has been aggravated by Brexit.

The London-Newark Liberty route was first launched by La Compagnie in April 2015. The low-cost all-business class carrier initially faced some technical issues, but later on recovered. The airline said that its highly affordable business offering has been appreciated and well received by the customers.

A spokesperson of La Compagnie said that between the months or June and August nearly 77 percent of the seats were sold out. However, despite a good response the route economics has though remained fragile. With the suspension of the flights on the route, the aircraft being utilized for operating flights would now be moved to Paris, from where double frequency to New York would be operational.

Media reports said that La Compagnie would be conducting its last outbound flight from the Bedfordshire airport on September 24, 2016. The return flight would be on the following day. The customers who have already booked beyond September 24 are now being offered the option of either obtaining a full refund or being re-routed to/from New York via Paris. In the present circumstances, the passengers also stand to gain. According to passengers’ rights rules, popularly called EC261, the passengers have every right to demand the La Compagnie on its own expense make them available business class seats on other international airlines.

Frantz Yvelin, Chief Executive of La Compagnie, said, “An unprecedented level of economic and legal uncertainty has been created for airlines serving Great Britain because of the EU referendum result or Brexit.”

However, a travel expert has rubbished La Compagnie’s Brexit claim saying that this isn’t the case at all. The big problem for the airline has been its wrong choice of airport, failure to provide a daily service and poor marketing.

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