How All Business Class Airline La Compagnie Works

La Compagnie – or ‘The Company’ – is a French all-business narrowbody operator. Its first flight took off from Paris CDG bound to Newark in July 2014 using a 74-seat Boeing 757-200. It now uses two A321LRs and will have four routes this year – including new Newark to Milan and Paris to Tel Aviv. We take a look at this carrier.

How All Business Class Airline La Compagnie Works
La Compagnie will have four routes this year: Paris Orly to Newark; Nice-Newark; Milan-Newark; and Paris Orly-Tel Aviv. Photo: Adam Moreira via Wikimedia.

Less than a year after La Compagnie’s first flight, a second route – London Luton to Newark – was inaugurated on April 27th, 2015, using the B757. However, Luton didn’t last long, and attention then returned to Paris.

In 2014, Newark – the airline’s only destination – was switched from CDG to Orly. At the time, it faced head-to-head competition with two others: British Airways’ OpenSkies (B757 and B767-300ER) and Norwegian (B787-9 and leased B777-200).

Nice, on France’s Côte d’Azur, is regarded as a gateway to high-end places. Targeting this premium demand is what La Compagnie set out to do when it launched summer-seasonal Newark to Nice in May, 2019. It was operated four-weekly by the 757, although it wasn’t long until the carrier’s two – and only – A321LRs arrived.

How All Business Class Airline La Compagnie Works
Before entering La Compagnie’s fleet, this B757 (F-HTAG) was previously used by Iberia, Atlasjet, Icelandair, Titan Airways. It is now in service with Cabo Verde Airlines. Photo: Eric Salard via Wikimedia.

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From 757 to 76-seat A321LR

La Compagnie’s two A321LRs were delivered in May 2019 (F-HBUZ) and September 2019 (F-HNCO),‘s database reveals. Both aircraft have 76 seats in a fully lie-flat four-abreast cabin with a 58″ pitch. And both are leased from GECAS.

Of course, the carrier’s two existing routes this year (Orly-Newark and Nice-Newark) easily make it into the world’s longest A321neo routes. Yesterday, Simple Flying found that the type’s 50 longest non-stop services range between 2,676 and 4,272 miles. La Compagnie’s offerings – 4,007 miles (Nice) and 3,649 miles (Orly) – are the world’s second and seventh-longest. However, they’ll be beaten when Newark to Milan begins later this year.

How All Business Class Airline La Compagnie Works
The carrier’s first medium-haul all-premium service, from Orly to Tel Aviv, is to begin. Image: GCMap

To be the sixth airline to Milan Malpensa

La Compagnie is to begin Newark to Milan Malpensa from November 29th. The 4,010-mile service will operate four-weekly. It’ll compete head-to-head with United, and indirectly with American, Alitalia, Delta, and Emirates to New York JFK. Therefore, La Compagnie will be the sixth carrier to wider New York, although it’s obviously aiming for premium travelers.

How All Business Class Airline La Compagnie Works
La Compagnie’s two A321LRs arrived in 2019. They offer two more seats than the 757s they replace, while fuel burn is reduced by around 30% per sector. Photo: Olivier Cabaret via Wikimedia.

Tel Aviv is coming; no longer purely long-haul

Until now, the all-business airline has been focused purely on long-haul service, as you’d expect. However, this is set to change with its coming 2,043-mile service from Orly to Tel Aviv.

This will target the huge point-to-point market from Paris and New York to Israel. It will have a fully coordinated one-stop premium service to/from the US, timed as follows. Both aircraft and crew will remain overnight in Tel Aviv before returning early the following morning.

  • Newark-Orly: 19:00-08:40 (next day), flight B0101
  • Orly-Tel Aviv: 10:10-15:40, B0400
  • Tel Aviv-Orly: 05:10-09:00, B0401
  • Orly-Newark: 10:30-13:00, B0100
How All Business Class Airline La Compagnie Works
Milan Malpensa to Newark will be the world’s second-longest A321neo route. Photo: Olivier Cabaret via Wikimedia.

What fare from Newark?

The question of profitability for such a low-capacity, high-unit-cost operation must be posed. With just 76 seats on its A321LRs, it has two to three times fewer seats than most long-haul operators which use the type. To counteract this, La Compagnie must achieve much higher unit revenue. At the same time, it seeks to undercut legacy carriers by offering lower fares and better value.

Booking data obtained from OAG Traffic Analyzer suggests that La Compagnie’s average business class fare in 2019 was $3,042 one-way, as shown below. This was the second-lowest of non-stop operators for which data is available. Meanwhile, data from the DOT’s T-100 suggests that it had an 81% seat load factor.

  • Delta (CDG-JFK): approx. average $4,336 one-way in business (excl. taxes/fuel surcharges)
  • Air France (CDG-JFK): $3,532
  • United (CDG-Newark): $3,500
  • Air France (Orly-JFK): $3,112
  • La Compagnie (Orly-Newark): $3,042
  • American (CDG-JFK): $2,377

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