Under the Radar

How L'Avion, the lone business-class airline start-up to survive, got the critical choices right

Lea Crespi for TIME

French fly L'Avion ceo Marc Rochet focused on value over expensive frills

Marc Rochet, CEO of the Two-Jet, all-business-class Newark--Paris airline L'Avion, will tell you exactly why his company is only 1 of 4 such start-ups to have survived this catastrophic year for air travel: "Because we weren't stupid." Survival, though, comes at a price. The company's parent, Elysair, was bought last month by British Airway's new OpenSkies subsidiary for $108 million, as the two firms try to stake out a future in the deregulating but oil-shocked global marketplace.

L'Avion's lesson is about the critical choices that every new company has to make as it moves forward. Choose wrong, and you're dead. Case...

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