Odyssey to launch business class-only London to New York flights

By David Flynn, June 25 2014
Odyssey to launch business class-only London to New York flights

Ambitious startup Odyssey Airlines says it will begin "private jet-style" business class-only flights between London and New York in 2016.

Passengers will board a new Bombardier CS100 jet with 40 business class seats which convert into fully-flat beds, with an inflight experience closer to that of a private jet than a commercial airline.

While Odyssey's inaugural flights will dart from London City Airport to New York the airline is already scoping other hopefully gold-lined destinations in the USA and Canada, Europe and the Middle East.

Odyssey promises "convenient city centre departures, stress-free on ground experiences, non-stop routes, and exceptional service from door to door."

The company has already locked down some £5 million (A$9 million) in funding towards its goal of almost £60 million, some of which has been drawn from crowd-funding via the Kickstarter-style platform Crowdcube.

However, this doesn't include the cost of financing the actual aircraft, of which Odyssey has 10 on order with a $67 million sticker price for each jet.

Odyssey is sowing its seeds on a graveyard littered by the bones of failed premium-only transatlantic airline including Silverjet, US carrier Eos and MAXjet.

"They were flying the wrong aircraft to the wrong airports" explains Odyssey founder and chief executive Adam Scott, who believes the combination of London City and Bombardier's brand new CSeries passenger jet is the perfect fit for the profitable route.

To date only British Airways has been successful operating a purely business class service between London and New York, but the twice daily Airbus A318 flight from London City has to make a stop-over in Ireland to top up on fuel before heading across the Atlantic.

Earlier this year Qatar Airways launched an all-business class service between London and Doha, using an Airbus A319 jet kitted out for 40 passengers.

Photos: Inside Qatar's all-business class Airbus A319 for Doha-London

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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.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 784

They might have a chance if they can get into an alliance. 


04 Nov 2010

Total posts 670

You seriously think that being part of an alliance is a make-or-break factor on this type of service? That the high-flying high-earning executives who can pay for this type of service won't use Odyssey unless they can also earn frequent flyer points with some alliance partner or use that partner's lounge? Sorry Tronixstuff but I reckon that's a very simplistic and uniformed view. I think the target market for Odyssey is a bit more upmarket than one which cares so much for an alliance.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 784

Not make or break but it will be part of the decision-making process for a lot of people. Anyhow, it's a moot point.

These sorts of operations have tried and failed in the past and from what we can see here nothing is outstanding or new that will make it a success. If they get a few bookings a day the flights will run at a loss or the operator will cancel and have to rebook them on another service. Furthermore BA and competitors could outprice them for a few months until this lot die off.

Then again all this is opinion and I'm sure all my fellow armchair airline CEOs will drag this conversation to the death with an infinite variety of informed and ill-informed opinions. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

13 Sep 2011

Total posts 180

Al, Tronixstuff may be right.  You are correct that high flying high earning execs are perhaps more upmarket than us mere proles but they are also shrewd,  FF points = currency in many peoples eys and those at the top of the food chain love currency.  An alliance with a major operator/alliance may be needed soon after this venture takes off, no pun intended.

Qantas - QFF Platinum

20 Mar 2012

Total posts 211

Seen this before, lets see if the 'right' aircraft/airport is the decisive factor or not.

12 Jun 2013

Total posts 733

Dubious business model.

Many previous failures.

Dependent upon an aircraft type that doesn't even exist yet and is unlikely to be delivered on time.

A miniscule portion of funding locked down so far, mostly via crowdfunding (aka no savvy investors are bothering to put down money). 

34 year old CEO who doesn't appear to have any actual airline experience.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Sep 2013

Total posts 462

Come to think about it could be worth a try.Would be an improvement on trash US carrier,s and probably BA and Virgin A business class.And forget about points i would rather a relaxing flight with great service.

Hugo i agree wih most all your comments ..but speaking of CEO,s do you really think AJ  and his two side sticks have served QF well. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Jun 2014

Total posts 210

Could make it more clear that BA is non-stop JFK-LCY. And that the stopover in SNN  allows you to clear US immigration. Just a thought!

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