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OpenSkies to offer biz-class flights between NY and Paris

Were you miserable when Maxjet and Eos discontinued service? Are you hoping to fly to Europe, but the thought of six-plus hours in coach makes you weep? Take heart, transatlantic business-class aficionados. The Department of Transportation (DOT) has approved British Airways' request to launch OpenSkies, a business-class subsidiary that will fly between New York (JFK) and Paris (Orly). Flights start on June 19, and tickets are now on sale.

The airline features a Boeing 757 fleet, with amenities such as flat-bed seats in business class and outlets at every seat. Flight attendants are billed as "concierges," able to assist with hotel reservations, local recommendations, and more.

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The airline certainly knows its demographic, and budget travelers won't find much to get excited about here. When I checked sample prices for travel in July, round-trip flights ranged from $1,281 (economy class) to more than $6,400 (fully flexible business class). However, given the price of standard coach travel to Europe nowadays, you may want to add OpenSkies to your list of airlines to compare prices on, especially given all the perks. Now that I think about it, that economy-class fare is right on par with what I've seen for the standard legacy lines this season.

Now it just remains to be seen if British Airways can keep business travelers as their bread and butter and make OpenSkies profitable, or if the line will go the way of Maxjet. Given the state of the industry and the no-end-in-sight fuel price climb, it's a risky gamble.

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