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French airline La Compagnie has always been a niche carrier. Indeed, the self-proclaimed ’boutique airline’ flies just two aircraft on a handful of routes while offering only one class: business. While it now operates the Airbus A321neo, La Compagnie had used a pair of Boeing 757-200s between its 2014 founding and 2019. So, where are they now?
Photo: Olivier CABARET via Wikimedia Commons
La Compagnie’s footprint in the aviation world is relatively small. The airline mainly operates transatlantic services with aircraft configured to be all business class. The core route offered is a daily Paris Orly-Newark service. However, it has also expanded to offer a seasonal Nice Côte d’Azur-Newark, and will eventually launch its Milan Malpensa-Newark service. It will also offer one non-transatlantic service: a seasonal route between Paris Orly and Tel Aviv.
La Compagnie’s early years
La Compagnie began its operations in 2014 and took delivery of its very first aircraft in June of that year. This was a Boeing 757-200 built in 2000 and registered F-HTAG. It had previously flown for airlines like Iberia, Air Astana, Icelandair, and Saudi Arabian Airlines.
10 months later, the carrier would take delivery of a second 757-200, F-HCIE. Built in 1994, this aircraft had previously flown with Britannia Airways and Thomsonfly.
La Compagnie would operate these two 757s for roughly five years- both configured to have 74 seats, all in business class. The main route would be a Paris Charles de Gaulle-Newark Liberty service. However, the 757s would also be used for a London Luton-Newark service as well.
Of course, much has changed since these early years. The airline has since ended its service from London, shifted Paris operations to Orly, and modernized its fleet by replacing the 757s with A321neos.
La Compagnie began operations in 2014. Photo: Olivier CABARET via Wikimedia Commons
F-HTAG and F-HCIE
So what happened to the 757s registered as F-HTAG and F-HCIE?
The airline’s first but younger 757, F-HTAG, was withdrawn from La Compagnie service in October 2019. After being returned to the leasing company and stored for two months, the jet found a new home with TACV Cabo Verde Airlines. This carrier, based in the country of Cape Verde, has since reconfigured it to offer 16 business class seats and 180 economy seats. The jet is now re-registered as D4-CCH.
One aircraft now flies with Cabo Verde Airlines. Photo: Anna Zvereva via Wikimedia Commons
The fate of F-HCIE is different and more unfortunate compared to its brother. After being withdrawn from use in October 2019, the jet went to aircraft lessor and trading company Aerolease in February of 2020. Re-registered in the United States as N757AL, the jet was then scrapped at Phoenix Goodyear Airport just a few months later. Hopefully, some of its parts are being put to good use, with other 757s still flying.
The 757 successors
The successors to La Compagnie’s operations are a pair of Airbus A321neos. Instead of 74 business class seats, these two jets are configured with 76 seats.
La Compagnie’s fleet now consists of just two A321neos. Photo: Airbus
With these two Airbus jets, the airline is eager to capture some post-pandemic travel and begin its recovery. This will see a shift in focus from pure business to some leisure services, as the airline’s president notes:
“In a post Covid-19 era we anticipate a lower demand on our New York-Paris route, therefore we need to diversify our destinations offering and look for alternative routes for our second aircraft.” -Christian Vernet, President of La Compagnie
Vernet adds that Nice and Tel Aviv are a great combination for the summer season, while Milan is “a strong long-term route with a balanced mix of business and leisure passengers traveling throughout the year.”
Did you ever fly with La Compagnie in the past? Particularly on its Boeing 757s? Please share your experience with us by leaving a comment.
This article first appeared on simpleflying.com
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