O penSkies is a British Airways subsidiary airline
which flies from Paris to New York. The airline started flying in June 2008
as a consequence of the "open skies" deregulation of routes between
the EU and US.
In its short history, OpenSkies has had a variety of cabin configurations - since June 2012 it has been running a 3 class cabin - a business class flat seat, a top-end premium economy seat and a standard economy section.
OpenSkies operates twice daily flights between Paris Orly (ORY) and New York Newark (EWR) under the "EC" IATA code. From March 2013 it will add a daily service from Paris Orly to New York JFK.
It uses 4 narrow body Boeing 757-200s with added winglets to increase fuel efficiency. The new 3 class seating products are as follows:
*we await confirmation of the new Eco seat pitch, it looks likely to be around the 32" mark.
Prem Plus is one of the best premium economy products on the market and is fine for a transatlantic day flight. Note that the seat pitch/recline of Prem Plus is slightly less than the old Biz Seat's 52"/140º. All seats have a universal power outlet and an iPad with 70 hours of entertainment is available for each passenger.
Photo credit: Flickr PhillipC
Lounge Access with OpenSkies - Only Biz Bed OpenSkies passengers now get complimentary lounge access.
At Paris Orly there is the Iberia VIP lounge - located in the West (Ouest) terminal - offering drinks, comfortable seating and free WiFi. At Newark, British Airways has a new Galleries lounge near gates B50-58 - facilities include 2 Silver bars, deli/dining area, showers and free WiFi. At JFK, the British Airways Galleries lounge is used which has pre-flight dining, showers and an Elemis Spa facility.
Return prices from Paris (New York) will set you back from around: €750 ($1,350) for Eco, €1,250 ($1,775) for Prem Plus, and €2,500 ($5,100) for Biz Bed. However do watch for special offers which can be significantly cheaper. Openskies also offers the option of first class TGV transfers to 14 French cities.
OpenSkies is now an affiliate member of the Oneworld alliance which means that miles/points can be earned and redeemed on the carrier.
For some further background to OpenSkies, the following gives a historic timeline of the airline:
|10/2012||OpenSkies announces restart of Paris-JFK route from March 2013.|
|06/2012||OpenSkies starts a 3 cabin service with the new Eco economy seat.|
|02/2012||OpenSkies announces rebranded 3 class cabin from June 2012: Eco/Prem Plus/Biz.|
|01/2012||OpenSkies start codeshare agreement with American Airlines (AA).|
|10/2011||OpenSkies suspends Paris - Washington route.|
|09/2011||OpenSkies announces it will close Paris - Washington service by end October.|
|03/2011||OpenSkies carries its 200,000th passenger.|
|06/2010||OpenSkies partners with SNCF for TGV train connections.|
|05/2010||Paris - Washington flights commence.|
|02/2010||Paris - Washington Dulles service announced for May 2010.|
|01/2010||OpenSkies moves all JFK services to Newark airport.|
|12/2009||After seeking new investors BA announces they will retain full ownership of EC.|
|08/2009||Amsterdam-New York service suspended 2 months earlier than previously planned.|
|07/2009||BA announces it will stop the Amsterdam - New York service from October 2009.|
|04/2009||OpenSkies rebrands biz to "Biz Bed" and prem+ to "Biz Seat".|
|04/2009||L'Avion is "fully merged" into the OpenSkies brand.|
|01/2009||BA announces plan to sell some B757 aircraft originally earmarked for OpenSkies.|
|11/2008||British Airways announces curtailment of OpenSkies route network expansion.|
|10/2008||OpenSkies starts flying Amsterdam to New York JFK.|
|10/2008||OpenSkies scraps economy in favour of a 2 class cabin - premium economy "prem+" and business class "biz".|
|07/2008||BA's OpenSkies buys L'Avion (Elsyair) for €68 million.|
|06/2008||OpenSkies (EC) starts flying a 3-class service from Paris to New York JFK.|
|05/2008||British Airways OpenSkies tickets go on sale.|
|05/2008||All business airline rival Silverjet runs out of cash.|
|04/2008||All business rival EOS Airlines goes bust.|
|04/2008||Official US-EU Open Skies agreement comes into effect.|
|12/2007||All business airline rival Maxjet goes bust.|
|01/2007||L'Avion (A0) flights between Paris and New York take off.|
OpenSkies remains a niche player in the transatlantic business market but has an interesting and sometimes, cost-effective product.