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La Compagnie to Shut Down Business-Class Flights to London

SmarterTravel

Google “La Compagnie” and the top non-sponsored result describes the airline thusly: “Discover Paris and London with La Compagnie, the unique French all-business-class airline, at an affordable price.”

That descriptor is accurate today, but won’t be from September 25, when La Compagnie suspends its service between the U.S. and London. The company linked its withdrawal from the London route to Brexit, the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union. “This decision comes in view of the new economic climate and aviation landscape in Europe following the recent United Kingdom European Union membership referendum in June 2016.”

Although summer load factors on the route exceeded 77 percent, the thinking, presumably, was that post-Brexit, London will lose its status as Europe’s financial hub, in the process losing what had been a reliably steady stream of business travelers.

The airline stressed, however, that the London service was being suspended, not cancelled. “We do believe in U.K.’s unique market position, hence the decision to invest heavily in the London route for the last 16 months. But the recent result of the EU referendum has created an unprecedented level of legal and economic uncertainty for airlines that service Great Britain.”

La Compagnie will redeploy the B757-200 currently servicing London on the New York-Paris route, increasing that service to twice-daily, as soon as October.

In the meantime, business-class flights to London can still be booked for $1,577 roundtrip, including taxes and fees.

The airline is also offering special $1,400 roundtrip Election Escape fares to Paris on select dates in October and November, for travelers “fed up” with the U.S. elections.

Reader Reality Check

Cheap business-class flights to Europe: Aye or nay?

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After 20 years working in the travel industry, and 15 years writing about it, Tim Winship knows a thing or two about travel. Follow him on Twitter @twinship.

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