British Airways bypasses Britain

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jan 9, 2008

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Today, British Airways said it plans to fly new routes between mainland Europe and the U.S. starting in June. These flights won’t be through London, either. We get more from Ashley Milne-Tyte.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: British Airways says its first flight to mainland Europe will be from New York to either Paris or Brussels. The majority of seats on the new flights will be in business class and premium economy.

Joe Brancatelli runs business travel website JoeSentMe.com. He says BA is tainted in many Europeans’ eyes, thanks to massive bag losses and other airport debacles on its home turf. But the U.S. public doesn’t hold the same view.

He says American fliers are fed up with American carriers and willing to try a rival. And Paris is a big business destination for U.S. travelers. Still:

Joe Brancatelli: Let’s say this is a lot riskier venture than it looked like this time a year ago. You know, the economy is softening, there’s much more competition.

He says the new service will be a subsidiary airline, and it has a big pocketed corporate parent in BA. But at the same time, he says BA is lumbered with internal politics and other social issues that wouldn’t hamper a start-up airline.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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