Lonely Planet Writer

New boutique-style US airline OneJet to serve medium-sized cities

OneJet, a new “boutique” airline launched today in the USA. It aims to fly nonstop between medium-sized cities that are under-served by major carriers.

Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh. Image by Sakeeb Sabakka / CC BY 2.0

It plans daily nonstop service among Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh, with outbound morning flights and evening returns. Tickets went on sale for Indianapolis to Milwaukee service starting 11 May for leisure travelers via its own site, Expedia, and the Carlson Wagonlit Travel agency, with more booking options to come.

The airline hopes to capitalize on market demand now left “under-served” due to consolidation in the US airline industry. A series of mergers have led to the end of Northwest, Continental, and US Airways and a cutting of routes between smaller cities.

In the past decade, a similar concept was tried by US airlines such as ExpressJet and Independence Air, but those failed in the last economic crash.

OneJet thinks it has an advantage over past attempts in that it will use a “contrarian reverse yield management model.”

As more people book, the price of tickets goes down. The first non-stop tickets will be two to three times the lowest coach fares in the market for a connecting flight. The theory is that people will pay a premium to arrive in 40 minutes instead of four hours.

OneJet also has few seats to fill, which minimizes its risk as a business. It will use data on market demand to figure out where to expand routes.

Planes have leather seats and Evian bottled water onboard, but says it is not a luxury service. It plans to add an aircraft per month and by midsummer have two rotations per day.