FOXTROTS 

 

 

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.  Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance. 

 

 

2007 February 05

 

 

 

Airlines. Flying fat. 

 

 

As Silverjet takes to the air with all premium-class service, another one, Eurofly, bites the dust. 

 

(BC = business-class, FC = first-class, PC = premium-class) 

 

This week Eurofly is due to stop its daily
Milan-New York JFK, operated by 48-seat all-BC A319; its other flights continue. Last week, Silverjet launched daily
London
Luton-New York Newark in a 100-flatbed-seat FC B767.
 

 

At the end of 2005 two PC airlines started
London
New York, Eos in 48-flatbed-seat FC B757s and Maxjet in 102-not-flatbed-seat BC B767s.
 

 

Which will make it? Possibly Maxjet (although its London-Las Vegas route makes little sense), but my money goes on another – Privat (sic) Air. 

 

PA operates BC-only flights for KLM Amsterdam-Houston, for Lufthansa over Dusseldorf-
Chicago/
New York
Newark and Munich-NYC, and for Swiss
Zurich
New York
Newark. It uses either 48-seat A319s or 56-seat BBJ (Boeing Business Jet, based on the B737).
 

 

I believe PA has the best business plan for PC flights, and that the other three will struggle to survive. 

 

Because, at least: 

 

 

– The FC market is tiny, and most FC passengers will want flexibility of leaving, say, in the evening, not once-a-day as Silver and Eos.  

 

 

– A big disadvantage for Maxjet is that many regular airlines have flatbed seats in their BC cabins – and so many BC passengers now demand this. 

 

 

– For Eos, Max, and Silver, there is also the matter of ‘schedule integrity’ – what happens when unplanned maintenance keep the aircraft on the ground for 24 hours? Also, many travellers will also go on to
Miami, or Paris, and return from there; do they then buy a ticket on another airline?
 

 

 

– JFK in
New York is the right airport. But
Luton and Stansted in
London (which Eos, Max, and Silver use) are not, mainly because of connecting flights.
 

 

 

– The three cannot offer attractive FFP (because they have no or few other routes) – so that makes its fare level even more important. That means the price should not be much more than a (discounted) economy class ticket. Forget protests that they offer a FC product at BC fares. Few people fly FC, and most of those that do are not worried about the price, but about the product. 

 

 

– Another problem for Eos is its name. Lesson one in marketing should have told the backers to choose a name that will be remembered, and can be pronounced, and tells potential customers what it offers. Eos sounds more like a new Greek aperitif than a deluxe airline. 

 

Others with the wrong name were Ozjet, which tried Melbourne-Sydney for a year – too pleby, mate. And, of course, Eurofly – which sounds like a Brussels-sponsored insect. 

 

 

end

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