World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 2008
Hubs Orly Airport
Frequent-flyer program Executive Club
Airport lounge Terraces Lounge
Alliance Oneworld (affiliate)
Fleet size 3
Destinations 3
Company slogan The transatlantic airline, par excellence
Parent company International Airlines Group
Headquarters Rungis, France
Key people Patrick Malval
(Chief Executive Officer)
Website .com.flyopenskieswww

OpenSkies is a transatlantic airline owned by British Airways (BA), and is headquartered in Rungis, Paris.[1] The airline launched as a brand of BA European Limited in June 2008 but in April 2009 the name was transferred to Elysair (which had operated as L'Avion). The airline is a full-service carrier and offers three class service cabins on board its aircraft.[2] It has a fleet of three Boeing 757-200, of which one is owned by IAG outright with the other two leased.

The airline currently operates between Paris-Orly Airport in France and both Newark Liberty International Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in the United States.[3] Potential future routes for the airline include Dublin, Frankfurt, Madrid, Brussels, Rome, and Milan.[4] The Amsterdam-JFK route was dropped in August 2009 due to weak customer demand.[5] In December 2009, the airline announced a change of its New York operations: in January 2010, all OpenSkies flights were shifted from JFK to Newark.[6] The airline restored service from JFK to Orly on 31 March 2013.[7]


  • History 1
  • Service 2
  • Destinations 3
  • Fleet 4
  • Approvals 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


OpenSkies' first aircraft, G-BPEK

British Airways wanted to reduce the over-dependence on their Heathrow Airport hub by flying between the United States and cities in continental Europe.[8] The bypass was only able to be done after the open skies treaty between the United States and the European Union would allow any airline to fly between airports in the two continents starting in March 2008.

The first flight, from New York, was on 19 June 2008, using a single Boeing 757 transferred from the BA fleet.

In July 2008 BA bought French airline L'Avion for £54 million.[9] The operations of BA European merged into L'Avion on 4 April 2009, which became BA OpenSkies.

On 24 July 2009, the airline announced that the route from New York-JFK to Amsterdam Schiphol would be suspended as of 16 August, due to economic reasons.[10] On 30 September the airline announced that the Washington to Paris service would be suspended from 29 October.[11]


OpenSkies Biz Bed seats
OpenSkies Prem Plus seats

The new airline was initially rumoured to be planning business-class-only flights, with the first flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York to Orly Airport in Paris.[12] However, the airline changed its plans to include a very small five row section of economy class seats in the rear of the aircraft in addition to premium economy and business class seats. In October 2008 the economy section was eliminated in favour of more premium economy seating.[13] With the integration of L'Avion, the Prem+ section was changed to 'Biz Seat', making the airline a business-class-only airline.

The third destination for Openskies was Amsterdam, when flights began on 15 October 2008, and Newark became an additional destination when L'Avion was integrated into OpenSkies on 4 April 2009.

OpenSkies joined the Oneworld alliance as an affiliate member on 1 December 2012, of which parent British Airways is a founding member. British Airways Executive Club members are able to claim tier points and BA miles on OpenSkies flights.

The airline announced a codesharing agreement with American Airlines which will put American's "AA" code on its flights between Paris and Newark.[14]


Terminated Destination
City Country IATA ICAO Airport Ref
Amsterdam Netherlands AMS EHAM Amsterdam Airport Schiphol [5]
New York City United States JFK KJFK John F. Kennedy International Airport [15]
Newark United States EWR KEWR Newark Liberty International Airport
Paris France ORY LFPO Paris Orly Airport
Washington, D.C. United States IAD KIAD Washington Dulles International Airport [11]


Boeing 757 landing at Frankfurt Airport

OpenSkies operates a single type of aircraft, the Boeing 757-200.[16] British Airways transferred one Boeing 757 G-BPEK for the start of operations, with an additional aircraft G-BPEJ transferred in December 2008. All of OpenSkies' aircraft are fitted with blended winglets to increase range, improve fuel efficiency and decrease CO
emissions. The cabin on all the aircraft is divided into two sections which together provide seating for 64 or 84 passengers depending on configuration.[2] L'Avion's fleet of two 757s was converted to OpenSkies' specifications and transferred into the fleet.

The fleet retains the British Airways tail fin logo, but features a grey underbelly instead of the dark blue that features on British Airways aircraft. The engine nacelle is painted silver while the winglets are painted red further distinguishing OpenSkies from British Airways.[2] The first Boeing 757 G-BPEK was named Lauren after OpenSkies' code-name prior to launch, Project Lauren. This aircraft has subsequently been re-registered to F-GPEK. The other two aircraft in the fleet are named Gloria F-HAVN and Violette F-HAVI. G-BPEJ was sold to Privatair in August 2012.[17]

In February 2009, British Airways announced that they would not transfer additional 757s to its OpenSkies subsidiary by the end of 2009, as originally planned, but instead would sell them to a third party. OpenSkies was originally to expand to six aircraft by the end of 2009, but BA said this plan had been cancelled.[18]

Aircraft Total Passengers[19]
J W Y Total
Boeing 757–200 3 20 28 66 114


The routes that OpenSkies intends to fly are only possible because of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement, which permits any American or European airline to operate services to and from any European or American location. The availability of landing slots limits the impact of the agreement at certain airports, such as London Heathrow Airport.[20]

BA European Limited, trading as Openskies, holds a United Kingdom Civil Aviation Authority Type A Operating Licence. This permits the airline to carry passengers, cargo, and mail on aircraft with 20 or more seats.[21] The operating licence was suspended on May 6, 2009 for three months following the transfer of the name to Elysair, at BA European's request.[22]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ OpenSkies to Refocus Business Efforts on Paris – New York Route
  11. ^ a b Clabaugh, Jeff. OpenSkies suspends Washington flights, Washington Business Journal, 30 September 2011, Retrieved 30 September 2011
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ OpenSkies Seat Map
  20. ^
  21. ^ Civil Aviation Authority Official Record Series 2 Number 1849 13 May 2008 – Type A Operating Licence granted from the 9 May 2008
  22. ^ UK Civil Aviation Authority Official Record Series 2, Number 1900, 12 May 2009

External links

  • Official website
  • Official Blog
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.