Brexit is a fig leaf that can be used to cover up pretty much anything. Would the carrier be halting the service if it had been a runaway success?
All-business-class carrier La Compagnie has pointed the finger at Brexit for its decision to suspend its London-New York service.
The carrier will continue to fly from Paris where it will add a second daily transatlantic flight but will cease operations from London on Sunday 25 September.
La Compagnie’s launch in July 2014 raised eyebrows across the industry because of the number of airlines which had tried and failed to make a go of business-class-only services.
Even established names are finding it difficult. Last week British Airways said it would be cutting the number of all-business-class flights from London City airport via Shannon, Ireland to New York. BA didn’t give a reason for its decision.
Although the UK’s vote to leave the European Union only occurred at the end of June and a timetable for its departure has yet to be fleshed out, the airline maintained that the “uncertainty” created was the reason for its decision.
“We would like to express our sincere thanks to each and every one of our passengers who have supported us since the launch of our London – New York operations from April 2015 to present. This has not been an easy decision for us to make but we would like to emphasize that this is the suspension of, not the cancellation of, the London – New York route,” said Frantz Yvelin, founder and CEO of La Compagnie.
He added: “We are the firmest believers of the UK’s unique market position, hence the decision to invest heavily in our London route for the past 16 months. Meanwhile, the result of the EU referendum has created an unprecedented level of legal and economic uncertainty for airlines that service Great Britain. Hence, our decision to accelerate development on our Paris – New York route where loads are already 80 percent plus as we recognise the increasing market demand in both the corporate and leisure segment.”
The airline industry is expected to face plenty of disruption when the UK eventually leaves the EU. Profit warnings by the likes of easyJet and British Airways owner IAG, demonstrate the level of worry in the market.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary has outlined some of the reasons why leaving airlines will be hit hard by Brexit.
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Photo Credit: A La Compagnie aircraft on the ground. The airline is suspending its London to New York service. La Compagnie