Elysair SAS, operating as L'Avion, was an airline headquartered in Wissous, France. It operated business class only long-haul services between Orly Airport, Paris and Newark Liberty InternationalAirport in the USA. The airline was purchased by British Airways and has since merged with OpenSkies an all business class airline owned by British Airways.
Founded by young French entrepreneurFrantz Yvelin and run by CEO Marc Rochet, L'Avion was a marketing name for Elysair. It had been created as Elysair but changed to use the marketing name in late autumn 2006 after market researchshowed the new name tested well in the US and in France. L'Avion kept Elysair as its call sign and corporate name. The first flight was on 3 January 2007 from Paris to Newark. Similar to the concept thatwas used by Silverjet, L'Avion offered premium-only service on TransAtlantic routes. It used two Boeing 757-200 aircraft, modified by Lufthansa Technik, Gamco and H4 Aerospace, with only 90 seats in a2x2 configuration. The seating and service level was considered to be Business class. It offered laptop power at every seat, French food and wine, and seats that reclined by 140 degrees. L'Avionfeatures digEplayer XT individual units with a 7" screen.
Fares were generally much lower than that of Air France and major airlines that fly from the United States to Paris. UScarriers have previously operated to Orly but were forced to move to Charles de Gaulle International Airport by the French government. Now, with Open Skies, a bilateral agreement between the United Statesand the European Union, Delta Air Lines is able to serve Paris-Orly as well.
The airline did have plans to expand to the Middle East.
L'Avion was wholly owned by Société de ParticipationAérienne (SPA) and has 55 employees (at March 2007).
On 2 July 2008 British Airways announced that it had agreed to buy L'Avion for £54 million. The deal was be completed in July 2008 and resulted...
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