Category Archives: OpenSkies

OpenSkies ends Boeing operations, retires the brand

Type Retired: September 2, 2018 (BA8004 Newark - Paris Orly)

OpenSkies (Paris-Orly) was the trans-Atlantic airline of the International Airlines Group (IAG). It now operates under the Level brand with the retirement of the last Boeing aircraft.

The airline was a full-service carrier and offered three class service cabins on board its Boeing aircraft and operated between Paris-Orly Airport and both Newark and New York (JFK).

OpenSkies on social media announced the end:

On Monday, September 3, 2018 at 8:40 am: ultimate landing at Paris Orly for OpenSkies. We thank all of you for your loyalty, trust and enthusiasm!

Previously the carrier announced on September 2, 2018:

Today (September 2) at 7:00 pm, flight BA8004 from Newark to Paris, marks the last takeoff of the company OpenSkies. We thank our teams and all the passengers for having shared Transatlantic memories since 2008.

The last flight was operated with Boeing 767-300 F-HILU on this flight from EWR to ORY.

Previously the last Boeing 757-200 flight was operated by F-HAVN on August 25, 2018 from Paris (Orly) to Newark.

Top Copyright Photo: OpenSkies (British Airways) Boeing 767-336 ER F-HILU (msn 24341) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 937268.

OpenSkies aircraft slide show:


Level’s first Paris Orly flight takes off

Level’s first flight from Paris Orly took off to Montreal (Trudeau) at 1945 CET/1845 BST on July 2.

The inaugural French flight on International Airlines Group’s (IAG) longhaul low cost airline brand arrived in Montreal at 2130 (local time) with more than 300 passengers on board a new Airbus A330-200 aircraft (F-HLVL, above). Flights to Montreal will operate three times a week and on July 3 Level commenced its four per week service to Guadeloupe.

This year two new Airbus A330-200 aircraft will be based at Orly, each with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats. A third A330-200 aircraft will be added in 2019 providing the opportunity to expand LEVEL’s network further. These aircraft are equipped with the latest high speed Wi-Fi with prices starting at €8.99.

In Barcelona, a third Airbus A330-200 will start operations in September and another one will be added next year totalling four aircraft in 2019. Level currently operates from El Prat’s airport to Buenos Aires, San Francisco and Boston with a summer service to Los Angeles.

Level’s Paris flights are operated by IAG’s French airline OpenSkies which has transitioned into Level.

All photos by Level/IAG.


OpenSkies to end the Paris Orly – Newark route

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2008

British Airways is ending the Paris (Orly) – Newark route operated by OpenSkies on September 2, 2018 according to Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: OpenSkies (British Airways) Boeing 757-230 WL F-HAVN (msn 25140) JFK (Jay Selman). Image: 402390.

Level to launch four long-haul routes from Paris Orly, the OpenSkies brand to be retired

Airline Color Scheme - Introduced 2017

International Airlines Group will launch flights to Montreal, Newark, Guadeloupe and Martinique from Paris Orly from July 2018 via Level its low cost longhaul airline brand.
Fares start from €99 one way.

  • Flights to Montreal start on July 2, 2018 and operate three times per week.
  • Flights to Guadeloupe start on July 3, 2018 and operate four times per week.
  • Flights to Martinique start on September 3, 2018 and operate three times per week.
  • Flights to Newark start on September 4, 2018 and operate four times per week.

Level will base two Airbus A330-200 aircraft at Orly, each with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats.

Checked luggage (plus a free cabin bag), meals, seat selection and the latest movie releases will be complimentary for customers flying in premium economy. Those travelling in economy can chose what they want to buy based on a menu of choices. Next generation inflight technology will be available for all customers with a wide range of onboard entertainment options. There is also super-high speed internet connectivity with prices starting at €8.99.

Customers can also earn and redeem Avios, IAG airlines’ loyalty currency, giving them the opportunity to fly to 380 destinations across the Group’s network.

Level’s Paris flights will be operated by staff who currently work for IAG’s French airline OpenSkies which is based at the airport. The OpenSkies brand will cease to operate at the end of next summer and all its staff will operate Level flights.

OpenSkies (British Airways) Boeing 767-336 ER F-HILU (msn 24341) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 937268.

Above Copyright Photo: OpenSkies (British Airways) Boeing 767-336 ER F-HILU (msn 24341) JFK (Fred Freketic). Image: 937268.

Flights from Orly to New York will continue to operate under the OpenSkies brand until the end of summer 2018.

In Barcelona, Level will launch a new route to Boston on March 28, 2018. Flights will operate up to three times each week for the summer season. A third A330-200 aircraft will be added to the Barcelona fleet later in the summer providing the opportunity to expand its network further.

Level flies currently from Barcelona to Buenos Aires, San Francisco (Oakland) and Punta Cana with a summer service to Los Angeles.

Top Copyright Photo: Level (Iberia) Airbus A330-202 EC-MOU (msn 1777) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 938159.



Dreamjet proposes trans-Atlantic Paris-New York Boeing 757 business class flights (sound familiar?)

Dreamjet (Paris) has filed an application with the Department of Transportation (DOT) to operate all-business Boeing 757-200 flights from Paris to New York (the airports were not specified). Dreamjet still needs the final approvals to fly as an airline from the French government. The new paper airline is proposing to start trans-Atlantic operations as early as June if it can get the approvals to fly. However the application has now been grouped with the controversial application of Norwegian Air International of Ireland (Norwegian Air Shuttle).

Frantz Yvelin, founder of the previous all-business L’Avion (which was sold to British Airways), has been rumored as the co-founder of this new venture.

ALPA issued this statement on the application of Dreamjet and Norwegian Air International:

The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to make clear the stark contrast between Dreamjet’s garden variety application for a DOT foreign air carrier permit and Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) request for authority to operate a business model that will put the livelihood of thousands of U.S. airline workers at risk.

“In contrast, Norwegian Air International’s application is based on an unacceptable business model that should be rejected.”

ALPA’s filing detailed the difference in a reply to NAI’s answer to Dreamjet’s application for a foreign air carrier permit.

“Dreamjet’s application could not be more different from Norwegian Air International’s effort to cheat the system by avoiding Norwegian labor law,” said Capt. Lee Moak, ALPA’s president.

In a reply filed jointly with the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) and the European Cockpit Association, ALPA states that NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit is a “far cry from that presented to the Department by Dreamjet and by the many other unopposed applications that have been presented to the Department by European carriers following implementation of the Air Transport Agreement.”

With operations centered in Norway, NAI is attempting to operate its international long-haul flights as an Irish airline expressly to avoid Norwegian employment laws. It appears that NAI is using flight crews hired through a Singapore employment company on individual contracts with compensation well below that of its Norway-based employees.

“ALPA has a long history of championing a fair marketplace in which airlines compete on merit, schedule, customer service, and the routes they fly,” continued Moak. “We are not afraid of competition. U.S. airlines and their workers are eager for the opportunity to go head to head with any airline that competes fairly by the rules governing the global marketplace.”

This week, ALPA launched Save Our Skies (SOS), a multiplatform campaign designed to mobilize the American public to voice their collective opposition to actions that are harmful to U.S. airline industry workers’ jobs, including specifically NAI’s application for a foreign air carrier permit.

More than 30,000 people have signed the #denyNAI petition urging Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to reject the NAI scheme and stand up for U.S. airline workers, and more than 100 members of Congress have voiced concern or outright opposition to NAI’s DOT application.

“ALPA does not oppose Dreamjet’s application, just as we have not opposed the many other European airline applications under the U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement,” said Capt. Moak. “In contrast, Norwegian Air International’s application is based on an unacceptable business model that should be rejected.”

Read the Wall Street Journal report: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf/ L’Avion launched business class flights on January 3, 2007 between Paris (Orly) and Newark using two Boeing 757-200s. However on July 2, 2008 the owners agreed to sell L’Avion in a £54 million deal with British Airways. BA merged L’Avion into its OpenSkies operation on April 4, 2009. L’Avion’s Boeing 757-230 F-HAVN (msn 25140) completes its final approach into Frankfurt in this striking livery.

OpenSkies to launch nonstop New York JFK-Paris Orly flights on March 31

OpenSkies (subsidiary of British Airways) (Paris-Orly) has announced a new daily route, between New York (JFK) and Paris (Orly) beginning on March 31, 2013. This new route compliments the current Newark-Paris Orly service and brings OpenSkies to three daily services between New York area and the Paris area.

The new flight departs New York JFK at 9:00 pm (2100) and arrives at Paris Orly at 10:35 am (1035) local time. Customers have a choice of three cabins, recently introduced in celebration of OpenSkies’ fourth anniversary:

  • Biz Bed, with a completely flat bed offering the best night’s sleep
  • Prem Plus, a unique class, offering leather seats in a 2 x 2 configuration
  • Eco, an economy cabin offering comfort and personalized service

All customers are offered a personal iPad loaded with more than 70 hours of entertainment, including movies, TV shows and games.

At JFK’s Terminal 7, customers traveling in Biz Bed cabin and Executive Club Gold and Silver card members will have access to the British Airways Galleries lounge. This lounge offers a luxurious, private space where passengers can relax in the Elemis(R) spa with complimentary treatments and showers and enjoy snacks and beverages or work before their flight. In addition, Biz Bed passengers can take advantage of pre-flight dining, allowing them to maximize their sleep on board.

OpenSkies is the only airline that flies to the Paris Orly West Terminal nonstop from the U.S. This terminal provides OpenSkies passengers with numerous advantages, such as close proximity to the center of Paris, as well as a more extensive choice of destinations, flights and connections within France. OpenSkies passengers are also able to benefit from a smoother journey through the airport, with the departure gates being located just past the security checks. Premium passengers also have access to Iberia’s VIP lounge, both spacious and recently refurbished.

Members of the British Airways Executive Club loyalty program will benefit from their status while flying with OpenSkies. With each flight, Executive Club members accumulate Avios points that can be converted into flight tickets or upgrades.

OpenSkies Schedule
New York Newark Paris Orly 18h45 8h40 (+1
New York Newark Paris Orly 20h25 10h (+1 day)
New York JFK Paris Orly 21h 10h35 (+1
Paris Orly New York Newark 10h45 13h20
Paris Orly New York Newark 13h40 16h15
Paris Orly New York JFK 14h55 17h25

Copyright Photo: Brian McDonough. Boeing 757-236 G-BPEK (msn 25808) takes off from Dulles International Airport near Washington.


British Airways upgrades OpenSkies with a new “Eco” class

British Airways (London) is adding a new “Eco” cabin class to the Boeing 757-200s of premium subsidiary OpenSkies (Paris-Orly).

The enhanced offerings include:

Individual iPads for passengers to enjoy 70 hours of onboard entertainment

Access to British Airways business class check-in desks at Newark

Priority access through security checks for Prem Plus and Biz Bed passengers

Access to the British Airways airport lounges at Orly and Newark for Biz Bed passengers.

Beginning on June 19, 2012 OpenSkies will have a new three-class configuration on its planes. An “Eco” class will join the “Biz Bed” and “Biz Seat” classes, which will become “Prem Plus”.

OpenSkies’ new “Eco” class will be equipped with 66 leather seats. “Prem Plus” (formally “Biz Seat”) will include 28 seats. “Biz Bed”, the business class cabin of OpenSkies, will continue to offer lie-flat seats in an exclusive 20 seat cabin.

The first OpenSkies Boeing 757-200 with the new three-class configuration will operate beginning on June 19. The second will be operational from June 29.

Virtual Tour: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Please click on the photo for additional information on the airline.

OpenSkides Slide Show: CLICK HERE

OpenSkies and American Airlines sign new codeshare agreement

OpenSkies (subsidiary of British Airways) (Paris-Orly), the premium transatlantic airline operating flights from Newark to Paris (Orly), and American Airlines have signed a new codeshare agreement giving OpenSkies customers more options and flexibility when flying to and from Europe.
Effective immediately, the agreement allows American Airlines to place its AA code on OpenSkies operated flights between Newark Liberty International Airport and Paris-Orly Airport. Therefore, passengers are now able to book American Airlines flights to or from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Miami International Airport, with connections via Newark Liberty to OpenSkies operated flights. Customers can also through-check their bags between American Airlines and OpenSkies flights.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf.

OpenSkies Slide Show: CLICK HERE

OpenSkies offers iPads on flights from New York to Paris, Dulles route suspended

OpenSkies (British Airways) (Paris-Orly), the premium transatlantic airline operating flights from New York and Washington, D.C. to Paris-Orly, is now offering iPads® to travelers. Beginning in October, OpenSkies will be the first French flag carrier to offer the iPad as a part of its inflight entertainment offering. The new devices will be introduced on the OpenSkies Newark to Paris-Orly route in an effort to further enhance customers’ onboard experience.

At the beginning of each trip, travelers will be handed an iPad pre-loaded with 64GB of recent films, TV and games to use for the duration of the flight. In addition, a new customer guide provides a quick and easy introduction to the specially programmed iPad, as well as a list of entertainment choices.

OpenSkies is also announcing the suspension of service between Washington Dulles Airport and Paris-Orly beginning on October 29, 2011.

OpenSkies Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Please click on the photo for additional information.

OpenSkies launches a new “For Smart Flyers” advertising campaign

OpenSkies (British Airways) (Paris), the transatlantic, all-business class airline, has redefined its brand position with the launch of the company’s new “For Smart Flyers” advertising campaign, giving travelers a broader picture of OpenSkies’ boutique airline feel with a focus on the extraordinary experience customers receive throughout their business-class journey from New York or Washington D.C. to Paris.

OpenSkies worked with W Atjust in Paris to develop the repositioning campaign, which shares an insider’s perspective to communicate OpenSkies’ modern, premium offering and how its unique travel experience feels as both traditional and contemporary business-class passengers discover they’ve made a smart choice. The new advertising campaign supports the brand’s repositioning that aims to widen OpenSkies’ target audience of savvy travelers to include more female professionals as well as those in the fashion, epicurean, sports, arts and film industries. In the ads, these professionals recline comfortably on exquisite, velvety-soft clouds.

The advertising campaign, featuring print and online ads as well as in-airport advertising extensions, highlights the benefits that matter most to passengers, showcasing the value the airline offers for premium, business-class travel.

The new ads will run through June 15, 2011 in the New York and Washington D.C. metro areas, Paris as well as the 13 other French cities supported by TGVair’s high-speed train connections.

Each OpenSkies aircraft has a maximum of 84 seats and features a unique 2×2 configuration in both spacious cabins – Biz Seat and Biz Bed – giving passengers a choice of a window or aisle seat on every flight. Biz Seats are wide seats that recline 140 degrees with a 52” pitch, and Biz Bed seats convert to completely flat beds (180-degree recline). All seats across both cabins are equipped with universal power outlets and feature individual entertainment systems that contain more than 50 hours of programming.

Copyright Photo: Arnd Wolf. Please click on the photo for additional information.