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British Airways to buy France's l'Avion

British Airways has agreed to buy small French business airline l'Avion for €68 million and it will become part of its new OpenSkies unit.

OpenSkies started on June 19 a Paris Orly to New York JFK connection with a Boeing 757 while l'Avion operates two Boeing 757 planes between Orly and New York Newark.

L'Avion started in January 2007 and has transported 65,000 passengers. The acquisition price includes l'Avion's cash reserves of €33 million.

Privately-owned l'Avion was originally called Elysair and specializes in business travel. It was one of the last remaining trans-Atlantic all business airlines as the sector was savaged by high fuel prices and cutbacks on business travel.

It was founded by pilot Frantz Yvelin and Marc Rochet, chief executive, who formerly ran Air Liberte. (Reuters)