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This new business-class only airline is cheaper than you'd think

Posting in Transportation

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Airlines have spent big money recently to improve seating in their premium cabins (while coach seats get smaller) because spending on premium cabins is a "disproportionate contribution" of airline revenue.

A new airline startup hopes to profit from the airline industry's biggest spenders by creating a transatlantic flight that only offers business class seating.

La Compagnie announced that is launching a New York to Paris route in July that will offer 74 lie-flat, angled seats on a Boeing 757-200, with four to five weekly flights.

But it this new concept isn't for the 1 percent of business travelers. It's more like the Southwest of business travel. Fares will be 30-50 percent lower than business class seating on other airlines flying the same route.

The concept isn't exactly new. Airlines like Eos, Maxjet, and Silverjet tried this idea before, and failed. So why is it a good time to resurrect the concept? Here's what Bloomberg Businessweek reports on La Compagnie co-founder Peter Luethi's reasoning:

"We are convinced this is going to work," Luethi says. "Through consolidation and the alliances, capacity has gone down and the prices have gone up tremendously." LaCompagnie's goal: "Offer an alternative without polluting the market with overcapacity."

But La Compagnie will start small, with just one route, in case he's wrong.

Photo: La Compagnie (via Skift)

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— By on June 18, 2014, 9:55 AM PST

Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure