Over a year after it suspended regular operations, French business class-only airline La Compagnie is set to resume operations in June. The airline has secured an additional €10 million ($12.1 million) from the French Government to help it recover from the global pandemic and relaunch operations.
Boutique business class-only airline La Compagnie was forced to cease operations last year due to low demand and travel restrictions brought on by the global pandemic. The airline is small, using only two aircraft, both Airbus A321neos, and its only destination is New York in the US.
Because it is such a small airline, getting the funds to resume operations hasn’t been easy, and the airline can’t afford to resume operations and then experience low demand. However, parent company DreamJet has secured the financing needed to allow the airline to resume regular operations from next month.
The airline initially suspended scheduled flights on March 13th, 2020, hoping to resume operations a month later. Little did they, or anyone else, know what was in store!
But now the airline looks ready to get back to a regular schedule; this could also include the summer season flights from Nice. According to reports, the French Government is providing a second €10 million loan ($12.1 million). La Compagnie received an initial loan of the same amount in June of last year.
The new funding is combined with capital raised from around 40 investor shareholders. The combined funding will be enough for the airline to resume operations from Paris Orly airport using the airline’s A321neos.
In a statement attributed to airline president Christian Vernet, he confirmed;
“Obtaining this second State Guaranteed Loan is a guarantee of recovery for La Compagnie. We have never stopped reinventing ourselves during this year to face the crisis and find new levers of activity, even of short-term development in order to guarantee the longevity of La Compagnie. We are now in the home stretch of preparation for the recovery and look forward to offering our customers the best in business class.”
Business class only
Each of La Compagnie’s A320neo aircraft offers 76 business class seats. Previously the airline operated Boeing 757-200s. But it upgraded the aircraft to offer free WiFiaand make savings when it comes to fuel costs.
Where other airlines have failed, La Compagnie seems to have succeeded in the transatlantic market for business-only flights. The airline only flies between Paris and New York, offering flights from Nice to New York in the summer. This has been successful for the airline and means there has been no diversification to new destinations in the US.
Hopefully, the injection of new capital and the plan to resume operations next month when restrictions ease. La Compagnie hasn’t given an exact date for its resumed operations, but June 9th is set to be an important date in France. From June 9th, bars and restaurants will reopen. In addition, and, importantly, foreign tourists can enter the country.
Are you excited to see La Compagnie resume operations? Have you ever flown on one of their aircraft? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.