City Star Executive makes history in the North East of Scotland today, with the announcement it will launch the first ever Inter-continental business only scheduled service between Aberdeen and Houston.City Star is a small airline that flies from Aberdeen, Scotland to several Norwegian cities (check out the map on their home page) using Dornier turbo-prop aircraft. These short-haul routes between North Sea energy centers are designed to serve the region's oil and gas industry. This is, likewise, the intention of City Star's first trans-Atlantic venture, as City Star CEO Atli Arnason states:
The service will operate four times a week between Aberdeen Airport and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, with operations commencing in January 2008.
“There has been a growing demand from North East-based business markets to revolutionise the concept of business class travel with the introduction of a direct link connecting two hugely important economic regions - Aberdeen, Europe’s Oil & Gas Capital, and Houston, the United States’ Oil & Gas Capital."City Star is following in the footsteps of several other airlines, offering all-business-class international service using specially-configured Boeing 757 aircraft: the planes have about 50 seats, as opposed to the 200 seats that a standard 757 carries. The premium fares commanded by business-class service will offset the smaller number of passengers. Or at least, that's the theory; time will tell if it works out. Even though I'll probably never need - or be able to afford - to use this service, I hope it does work because it's obviously good for the local energy economy.
This service will bring the number of European cities served nonstop from Bush Intercontinental to five.