British Airways has reached an agreement to buy French airline L’Avion at a cost of £54 million (Euro 68 million). The cost covers the purchase of the airline and £26 million (Euro 33 million) of cash in its business.
L’Avion is a privately-owned airline that operates two Boeing 757 aircraft between Paris Orly and Newark airport. Following completion of the deal, expected this month, it will become a British Airways’ subsidiary and be integrated into OpenSkies, the airline’s new EU-US subsidiary airline.
OpenSkies launched services on June 19 this year with daily flights from Paris Orly to New York JFK that operate with a L’Avion codeshare. The combined airline will operate up to three daily flights between Paris Orly and New York JFK/Newark airports using three Boeing 757 aircraft.
British Airways’ chief executive, Willie Walsh, said: “L’Avion is a successful airline that has built up a premium business between Orly and New York in a relatively short period of time.”
“It has many synergies with OpenSkies and buying it provides OpenSkies with a larger schedule and an established customer base in the Paris-New York market.”
Christophe Bejach, co-founder and chairman of L’Avion, said: “We are happy to merge our operation with OpenSkies. This transaction will strengthen our current base and enable the combined airline to grow faster and stronger. Our staff will benefit from the ambition and recognised expertise of the buyer and our customers will have access to an even better service, on a larger scale.”