Last updated: 02:06 PM ET, Tue September 06 2016

Brexit Decision Claims New York-London Flight

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | August 30, 2016

Brexit Decision Claims New York-London Flight

The seismic decision last month by British citizens to leave the European Union is still causing aftershocks.

Boutique airline La Compagnie today announced it would suspend its daily New York to London route effective Sunday, Sept. 25. The all-business class carrier will add a second daily flight between New York and Paris in October.

The reason?

Brexit—the nickname given to the movement to have Great Britain exit the EU.

The vote to return to independent status in England has caused market uncertainty in the travel world and a “new economic climate,” La Compagnie officials said.

"We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our passengers, teams and partners, especially London Luton Airport, who have supported us since the launch of our London operations back in April 2015,” Frantz Yvelin, Founder and CEO of La Compagnie, said in a statement. “This has not been an easy decision, but we would like to emphasize that this is the suspension, not the cancellation, of the London-New York route.”

Yvelin said the decision to suspend the route was not taken lightly, especially with encouraging performance levels of late with an average load factor above 77 percent since June 2016.

“We believe in the United Kingdom's unique market position, and (have) invested in the London route for the past 16 months,” he said. “However, the recent referendum has created an unprecedented level of legal and economic uncertainty for airlines serving the region. This unrest drove our decision to focus on the development of our Paris-New York route, where loads are already more than 80 percent, as we recognize the success of our model and increasing demand from both the corporate and leisure segment on that route. As soon as the Brexit consequences are clarified, we will re-evaluate development opportunities in London and other British cities.”

All customers due to travel on La Compagnie between New York-London after September 24 are eligible for a full refund or option to rebook on the Paris-New York route free of charge.

It is not known yet what is to become of La Compagnie’s earlier promotional offer this summer of unlimited flights from New York to Paris or London for $35,000.


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