It seems that one of the great experiments is heading to fall flat on its face shortly, with the (majority) sale of BA’s OpenSkies operation.
Openskies is an airline set-up to take advantage of the “Open Skies” agreement between the USA and Europe (and originally to take on SilverJet and MaxJet), so BA set up this “side” airline with a different set-up to is usual – originally Business, Economy Plus and Economy.
Pretty soon the basic economy class went out of the window, at it became an all business class airline, dividing it’s product into a BizBed and Biz+. Additionally, it took on L’Avion and brought it up, adding another pair of 757’s into the fleet and merged the operating certificate together (and now runs under the French operating certificate)
However, as BA is bleeding cash like it’s going out of fashion, BA is looking to save money along the line – be it flogging OpenSkies… or in the worst case scenario, pulling up the shutters and moving back to Heathrow.
Granted, it’s route network isn’t overly strong (New York JFK and Newark to Amsterdam and Paris Orly)- and its value is in the slots at Orly and a few refitted 757’s (although the US slots could be worth a few pennies), and really it was set up at exactly the wrong time when the downturn really started hitting.
Considering the perfect storm that’s around – and depending what people are sniffing around OpenSkies for, I doubt it’s much longer for this world.