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EOS and MAXjet: An Update

You may be wondering how MAXjet and EOS are doing.  You may first be wondering what they are (in which case you probably don’t care how they’re doing).  The new carriers, flying all business class seating across the Atlantic, have both been offering fare sales regularly.  So, in an OTR first, I’ve done a bit of an investigation into how their seats are selling, and here’s what I’ve learned:

Looking at the number of seats sold for the next six flights on each airline, the picture isn’t particularly pretty, and it’s quite ugly for EOS.  MAXjet has an average load factor (percent of seats sold) of 35%, with a high load factor of 49% and a low of 18%.  EOS has an average of 22%, with a high of 42% and a low of 10%. 

Sure, lots of business travelers fly on little notice, so the load factors will improve as the dates get closer, but these dates are pretty close to begin with.  Nobody makes money at 35% or 22%.  Or even at their high levels of 49% and 42%.  Admittedly, winter is slow for travel to London.  But it’s mostly business travel on these airlines, and it won’t necessarily pick up in summer.

Both of these guys have some cash to burn, so they’re not going anywhere anytime soon.  But these early numbers suggest it may be a rough road.

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  1. Not to mention these guys have a lot of work to do with their staff. I flew Maxjet from JFK to Stansted in early January (the flight was maybe half-full at best), and the inexperience of the flight attendents made it almost feel like I was flying economy class. I guess you’re bound to not feel special when everyone’s in the same boat… Maybe Eos has better service??? (I would hope so for the prices they charge)

  2. Eos has had a significant number of non-rev (i.e. non-paying) passengers on many of its flights; if the 22% load factor takes this into account they are going to have a rough time of it. Their business plan was based on lower oil prices, getting higher fares than what seems to be now available on their website, and was developed at a time that Maxjet was intending to be an all-economy airline. If you want to go to Stansted, you’ll fly Maxjet at a 50% lower fare and if you want a truly premium inflight experience you’ll fly Virgin or BA to Heathrow and add to your probably already hefty mileage balance with these carriers. Eos may have a nice seat, but they only have one flight a day and they do not have state-of-the-art inflight entertainment or the onboard internet access increasingly demanded by the private jet and premium passengers they are supposedly targeting. I wish them well, but I would bet that Maxjet’s near business class at a great low price will win out over Eos’s exclusivity for the sake of exclusivity.

  3. How do you know the number of seats sold?

  4. You can start the booking process on their website and when you get to the choose seats portion, you can see how many seats have already been blocked off.

  5. You cannot use a seat map to accurately determine load factors.

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