First Airline Created After Implementation of Open Skies Agreement Receives Authorization from U.S. Department of Transportation

OpenSkies, a premium transatlantic airline from British Airways, received approval today from the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin operations. The new airline will offer flights between Paris’ Orly Airport and New York’s JFK Airport starting in June.

“We are delighted to receive approval for take-off and sincerely appreciate the DOT’s efficiency and careful consideration in reviewing our application,” said Dale Moss, Managing Director of OpenSkies. “As the first airline to be created as a result of the Open Skies agreement, this is a huge step forward as we work to make history and set a new industry standard across the Atlantic. We look forward to bringing travelers an intimate, personalized and premium travel experience between Paris and New York starting in just a few weeks.”

The Department of Transportation also approved OpenSkies’ codeshare arrangement with French airline L’Avion. L’Avion’s code will be placed on OpenSkies’ flights between Orly and JFK.

“We are extremely pleased and gratified by the DOT’s quick review of our application for a codeshare arrangement with L’Avion,” Moss added.

This formal approval by the DOT enables OpenSkies to start selling tickets for its services. The company will start taking bookings next week via its website or by phone. OpenSkies will also be available for booking through and by travel agents using the global distribution systems (GDS) as British Airways codeshare flights.

OpenSkies plans to offer a truly premium and intimate travel experience. The airline will provide superior customer service and innovative features, including 6-foot, fully-flat beds in business class, personal entertainment units with 50+ hours of programming and creative and healthy meal service.

OpenSkies will initially operate one proven and fuel-efficient Boeing 757. A second Boeing 757 is scheduled to join OpenSkies later this year from the British Airways fleet and it is planned that there will be six OpenSkies aircraft in total by the end of 2009. OpenSkies plans to service additional routes from European cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt and Milan to New York.

About OpenSkies
OpenSkies is a premium transatlantic airline that will offer guests superior service, competitive fares and exceptional value. OpenSkies will initially fly between Paris – Orly Airport and New York – JFK Airport, with plans for routes from additional European cities including Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Milan to New York. The airline will offer guests innovative features onboard, including lie-flat beds in business class, personal entertainment units with 50+ hours of programming, and fresh, healthy and creative meal service. Backed by British Airways, OpenSkies is the first-ever airline created as a result of the Open Skies agreement, which allows airlines to fly between any U.S. and E.U. destination.