New All Business Class Airline Launches Serving Zurich, Munich And The Maldives

All business class airline BeOnd, based in the Maldives, has received its Air Operators Certificate, and has announced its first two destinations: Munich (beginning November 15) and Zurich (starting November 17). The carrier has an Airbus A319 outfitted with 44 lie flat seats, and actually serves both via Riyadh, which is an unannounced third destination.

Seven months ago I wrote about BeOnd’s plans which seemed a stretch to me at the time.

The airline offers 3 fare levels. The first upcharge comes with complimentary seat assignments and lounge access. The second comes with VIP ground service.

The biggest challenge here is in growing an airline based in Male, which is highly seasonal. They’re launching just in time for peak season (through March-ish), so may be able to earn enough revenue to last through the off-season of May through October.

  • They offer a premium product, and if there’s a destination for it the Maldives seems like a fit.

  • Are they going to attract so many more customers who will not fly Qatar Airways or Emirates, especially while still connecting in the Mideast and with less frequent and therefore also less convenient service and with an inferior inflight product to Qatar?

  • They need a second hub for counter-seasonal scheduling or else they’ll bleed cash badly at least half the year.

Credit: BeOnd

Credit: BeOnd

They currently have an Airbus A319 with 44 seats. They expect to add an A321ceo with 68 seats, and then take an A321LR next year.

Credit: BeOnd

Additional destination target Dubai and Delhi and eventually Perth. Dubai – and going up against Emirates, which already offers non-stop service – seems like an odd play. They’ll have less frequency. It seems like they need a destination where they can offer greater convenience, not less convenience.

They say they’re planning a second hub though they haven’t talked about what it will be. It needs to peak over the Northern summer. Maybe southern Europe? Will they make it?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. A 319 that has to stop for fuel in Saudi??? I don’t think so.
    (Wondering how old that 319 is, too)

  2. @Gary, in answer to my own question … I looked it up. 19 years old.
    That interior is lipstick on a pig, then.

  3. This is a nice idea in theory; however, I see some serious hurdles for these guys to overcome for this to be successful. For one thing, the idea of an all business class airline has been tried and has worked well enough to keep going, but hardly as a runaway success (La Compagnie). And those flights are on a really dense route. What you have here is a smaller plane (an A319) configured 2 x 2 – which is hardly a groundbreaking business class- and having to stop in Riyadh. For the fares on offer, these are already three black marks against the concept. And this doesn’t take into account what the schedules are like. They can’t be all that frequent.

    Honestly, I’m not here to crap all over this idea. Unfortunately, I just don’t see it going anywhere. There are just too many reasons that this idea won’t fly.

  4. BeOnd

    I can see when they fail miserably and give terrible customer service they will be called BEND OVER

  5. I like the idea and the Dot Lines guys should like these routes 🙂 If they can make money on the Maldives winter season they might make money on Europe flights in the Summer and maybe mix in some Hadj flights in June ish as well.

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