La Compagnie begins all-business class A321neo New York-Paris flights

By David Flynn, June 6 2019

French boutique airline La Compagnie ('The Company') is sharpening its appeal to executives and other high-flyers jetting between New York and Paris with this week's debut of a new Airbus A321neo all-business class jet.

This first of two advanced single-aisle sprinters, these jets also upgrade the trans-Atlantic experience with 76 fully lie-flat business class seats from tip to tail.

Based on the popular Collins Diamond design, the A321neo's flatbed seats are a definite step up from the angled 'sloping sleepers' of La Compagnie's previous and rather crusty Boeing 757s seen below.

Each passenger is treated to a 15-inch touchscreen for inflight entertainment, paired with noise-cancelling headphones – and when it's time to grab some shut-eye on the seven hour flight, the flat bed is fitted with a mattress topper.

The 2-2 configuration might not be everyone's idea of modern business travel but with a generous 62" pitch it's arguably sufficient for this 8½ jaunt, especially on the red-eye leg departing New York-adjacent Newark Airport at 7.30pm to reach Paris' Orly Airport at 8.20am the next morning.

La Compagnie is also providing free unlimited broadband WiFi above the clouds.

"We want our passengers to experience the internet just like they do at home or in the office," suggests Jean Charles Périno, EVP of Sales and Marketing for La Compagnie. "Our mission is to make business-class more accessible to everyone at the most attractive fare."

La Compagnie runs twice-daily flights between Gotham and the City of Lights and pampers its premium passengers with anti-allergenic pillows, large soft blankets and a Caudalie travel care kit, along with restaurant-grade meals from renowned chefs.

Also read: What it’s like to travel on an all-business-class flight

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Bernoulli

Bernoulli

21 Apr 2017

Total posts 35

Now that's the way to configure a narrowbody!

Mrminivee

Mrminivee

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Mar 2018

Total posts 15

Great stuff, however I feel the Apex Suite would be better suited for a 2-2 config.

074061

074061

Cathay Pacific - Asia Miles

25 Apr 2013

Total posts 542

I agree – an Apex Suite-configured narrowbody would be spectacular. That would basically be a longer version of Korean Air's 747-8 upper deck, which I've flown, and is spectacular.

However it's important to consider the sub-US$1,600 RT prices that La Compagnie is offering. These planes are even more densely configured than their previous angled lie-flat configuration. They are fitting in 76 seats here, while their longer 757s had 74 seats. That's the only way they can turn a profit. Apex Suites take up a LOT of space with the "mini-aisles" that are created for the window seats to access the aisle. A 62-inch pitch would be impossible.

Nevertheless, I agree that hopefully one day we'll see another, more premium, less low-cost focused airline offering Apex Suites on their narrowbodies one day!

anthony watts

anthony watts

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Mar 2015

Total posts 78

Would be worth giving a go, if, big if, the NEO is quieter than standard 321.

IntegralMan

IntegralMan

01 Sep 2018

Total posts 29

Newer engines are generally quieter than the predecessors.

krisdude

krisdude

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 158

The A321neo is quieter than the A321ceo.

johnaboxall

johnaboxall

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 725

*sigh* flashback to OzJet.

moa999

moa999

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 Jul 2011

Total posts 1373

Albeit with an efficient new jet, rather than a well used hand me down

Mjudd

Mjudd

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Dec 2016

Total posts 40

Let's hope Virgin can replicate this in their transcontinental 737s :)

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

I think Virgin Australia will try to retain direct aisle access though. This design makes direct aisle access impossible.

JKH

JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 127

Great to see lie-flat J/C is more than achievable on NB aircraft. A petty that Euro carriers can’t even get proper J/C seats on their aircraft at all.

Gold medal to the airline that comes up with lie-flat direct aisle access for all J pax though. Perhaps like BA’s latest (not the old school version) outboard forward/rearward twins of seats on either side of the NB aircraft?

kimshep

kimshep

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Oct 2014

Total posts 476

I am hugely surprised by this move. Certainly, a great fitout of the A321NEO no doubt, but how long will this service operate? There is already some talk that BA may consider the axing of their NB LCY-JFK-LCY and if you have trouble making this work, then ORY-EWR-ORY has got to be somewhat suspect.

I hope that I am wrong and that La Compagnie can make this work profitably - but it will undoubtedly be a route to watch.

Russjking

Russjking

12 Aug 2017

Total posts 75

I flew on their 757 from London Luton to Newark. Very impressive to get such a good seat and service at a third of usual business class fares. At the time they were not the most reliable as they only had two planes. I had no problems.

Kimshep is right to point out the risks of this venture, as closing the Luton-Newark route showed. Hope they make it though.

krisdude

krisdude

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 158

Is it a standard A321neo or the A321lr? It would make sense to use the A321lr for trans Atlantic travel.

Aircraft Lover

Aircraft Lover

KLM - Flying Blue

05 Feb 2019

Total posts 25

I agree this is a great A-321 configuration

Narrow-body airplanes are designed to fly over land

Wide-body aircraft are specifically engineered and design, from nose to tail, to cross the oceans

patrickk

patrickk

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 393

Aircraft lover I am not sure where your wide body narrow body engineering theory comes from. They have both being designed for both since the 1970s with 707s, 757s, and A300s, 767s et al.

Ian_from_HKG

Ian_from_HKG

CX

05 Jun 2012

Total posts 101

Perhaps I am missing something, but I think I would struggle to get comfortable in this seat in bed mode. Our esteemed reviewer describes their 62-inch (five feet two inches!) seat pitch as "generous" for what he also describes as a "fully lie-flat" seat. I'm about 75 inches tall. I find it hard to get comfortable in BA's 72-inch actual-length* fully lie-flat seat, so I am not sure how this would work given there doesn't seem to be any overlap (eg cubbyholes for feet) between rows. Has anyone flown this sort of configuration so they can shed some light? Perhaps the seat is extra-wide so one can curl up within the (one-and-a-half-feet-shorter-than-me*) space? Although that would require quite a wide seat, which doesn't seem to be borne out by the photographs...

* Seat pitch is measured from a fixed point on one seat to the same fixed point on the next. Accordingly, given that this is a fixed-shell seat, you have to deduct the thickness of the seat, the thickness of the shell, and the gap between the seatback and the fixed shell from the seat pitch in order to find the actual bed length. I have been generous and assumed that all three of these add up to just five inches. That leaves a bed just four feet 9 inches long. One-and-a-half-feet shorter than me.


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