Going, Gone: The All-Business Class Model

Open Skies – (the airline of that name, not the concept) was another attempt at an independent, all-business class, trans-Atlantic brand.

It’s gone as of this September.

It joins MaxJet, L’Avion and Silverjet on the bucket list of poor market understanding.

These airlines were all based on the assumption that offering a “bargain” premium product would poach business travel from major incumbents, as well as entice the some of the inhabitants of their economy cabins to switch and move up to a classier product.

The fly in this marketing elixir is that the folks in business/first on trans-Atlantic markets tend to be brand-tethered due to corporate deals and FF loyalty. As a group, they aren’t going to switch – and, didn’t.

As for the supposed great unwashed trapped in 17-inch wide seats in the back of the airplane, these premium-product attempts all failed to recognize that it’s not a curtainbetween economy and business class on major carriers.

It’s a financial DMZ.

People book economy class because they don’t want to spend one Euro more to get to Paris, let alone a couple hundred, just to have a wider seat, a meal with fancy names they can’t pronounce, and some free hooch.