PHOTO: The design for the La Compagnie airplane. (courtesy La Compagnie)
It's no secret why a fledging new French airline is named 'La Compagnie.'
Translated into English, it means 'The Company,' and it launches operations with both an exclusive seating class and an exclusive route. La Compagnie will operate all business class seating beginning July 11 from Charles De Gaulle Airport in France and starting July 12 from Newark Liberty International. New York to Paris is the only route it flies. The carrier says it will be 'French in spirit, global in appeal' and set to 'democratize business class.'
La Compagnie is an entrepreneurial initiative created by Frantz Yvelin and Peter Luethi, businessmen who created an airline for business people.
"It is time to bring business-class air service back to where it belongs where personalized service is offered at respectable fares," Yvelin said in a statement. "With French style and American dependability, La Compagnie will become the choice of the current generation of hard-working business travelers who demand something more from air transportation."
The company could not reveal U.S. price structures until it receives regulatory approval, but sample roundtrip fares posted in France run about $1,200 USD per person for two people roundtrip.
La Compagnie will start operations with a redesigned Boeing 757-200 dressed in the airline's signature baby blue hue. The plane will offer four to five weekly flights throughout the summer, with scheduled departures out of Paris at 5:50 p.m. arriving in Newark at 8:30 a.m., and out of Newark at 9:45 p.m. arriving in Paris at 11:15 a.m.
The interior design offers 74 "lie-flat" seats creating a 2x2 configuration throughout a single aisle cabin with no dividing class curtain. Overhead luggage bins are ample, according to the airline, and the interior cabin is "sleek and stylized with leather headrests and armrests in La Compagnie's signature baby blue."
Hmmm, baby blue. A lot of what we're hearing initially makes this sound like an international JetBlue with a bit more panache.
La Compagnie's next Boeing 757-200 aircraft will be delivered in December 2014. Each flight will be crewed by two pilots and three flight attendants fluent in international languages.
In-flight amenity kits include Caudalie cosmetic products, as well as in-flight meal service with menus created by Christophe Langree, the Michelin-starred chef of Hôtel Matignon in Paris, which serves as the official residence of the Prime Minister of France. La Compagnie's fleet will also be equipped with complimentary WiFi Internet service, and all seats will have personal Samsung tablets uploaded with an assortment of books, magazines, music and movies.
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