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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June, 2005, 19:16 GMT 20:16 UK
Exclusive airline secures cash
Travellers walking through an airport
Eos hopes enough people will want to leave the crowds behind
A transatlantic airline targeting business class passengers has secured the funding it needs and is planning to start flights in September.

Eos will look to lure lucrative customers from rivals such as British Airways (BA) and Virgin Atlantic.

The company has been founded by a former BA executive, David Spurlock.

Private equity firms have put up the majority of the $185m (101m; 151m euros) that Eos was seeking to service the route between New York and London.

Rarefied air

Eos is trying to cut itself a slice of one of the most competitive and lucrative routes at a time when airlines are struggling under record fuel prices and waning demand among consumers.

Business class passengers are some of the most profitable, however, and Eos is looking to attract travellers who want space rather than the cheapest prices.

The firm said it plans to lease three Boeing 757 aircraft, putting in 48 seats instead of the usual 200.

Planes will fly between New York's Kennedy and London's Stansted airports.

It is not the first time that an airline has decided to build its business solely on executive passengers.

UK firm Fly First had the idea of offering customised Boeing jetliners fitted with beds that fly out of Luton airport.

Blue Fox, which was chaired by former Tory minister Lord Tebbit, tried a business-class only service but was grounded after the 11 September terrorist attacks.

Despite securing the funding, Eos still needs to get US regulatory approval before it can take off.

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