I recently traveled to London for 2 days of business. Round trip airfare in business class? Over $8,000! Couldn’t believe it – I think the airlines made more per hour than I did.
Golden rule of strategy: any attractive niche will attract competition. So while Virgin Atlantic and BA are knocking themselves out adding in perks for business class types, two new startups have decided that the market is just too yummy to leave alone.Eos, an all-business class airline started flying between New York and London on October 18. It’s planes have just 48 seats allowing for lots of space per passenger, and it flies to Stansted airport, not horrible Heathrow. It’s still not cheap, but at $6,500 per round trip flight it’s an improvement. Another new entrant, MAX jet, is taking a different tack. Although it’s not nearly as luxurious as any of the others, it promises to charge only $1,558 roundtrip for a pretty standard business class experience. That’s cheaper than full-fare coach on this route.
So it remains to be seen whether either of these will last in a business sense, but my clients and I are sure going to be grateful for some real competition (and more realistic pricing) for a flight that lasts only 5-7 hours.