Like you know, Jet Airways First Class product has been on their Boeing 77W planes, of which they have ten of, since about 2008. They were one of the first, or maybe the first airline to introduce Suites in the sky.
These 77W planes have not really been their property for most of these ten years, as they’ve been with Turkish, Etihad, Thai Airways and Gulf Air on lease for varying periods of time.
Anyways, Jet Airways now has had this product for years, and while it was ahead of its times when it was launched about ten years ago, being a pioneer in terms of Suite in the Sky, it is mediocre at best right now. The seats are worn out, and the occupancy is low. Jet Airways now flies these planes on their flights to Amsterdam, London and Hong Kong. From the winter schedule, they will fly to Paris too.
In the past, they’ve tried to compete with Emirates in the west and Singapore Airlines in the East by putting up planes with F class to offer a 3-class service to Dubai and Singapore. However, hub captives have clearly chosen the other product over 9Ws in those markets, reason enough for those planes to be downgauged soon after.
By all standards, these 10 planes were the flagship of the airline, and still are, but they’ve already had one round of reconfiguration where they moved from an economy class 3-3-3 configuration to a 3-4-3 configuration to put more seats on the plane and made the plane good for 346 pax at a time.
Now, the Business Standard reports that plans are under discussion to remove First Class from these planes.
It was the first airline to offer a first class suite in the sky. But a decade later, poor demand has prompted Jet Airways to plan a reconfiguration of its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
Jet Airways may remove the eight first-class seats and instead add economy and business class seats in its wide-body Boeing planes. The objective seems to be to improve revenue and reduce unit costs. Unit costs refer to cost incurred in transporting a passenger per kilometre.
These F suites are basically empty loads in the plane, since clearly no one is paying for them and there is excess weight taken on the plane for no monetisation. On the other hand, their business class is almost always full most of the times I’ve taken those flights. Personally, herringbone seats are one of my favourite in the sky. Makes for a nice bed.
What I do wonder is if the airline would be able to add more of the same herringbone seats if and when this reconfiguration goes through. Given those seats are out of the market since Virgin Atlantic managed to win their patent on them.
Having said that, I’ve always wondered why has Jet Airways not offered non-stop services between India and the USA, and maybe when they will lose some weight on the planes by removing the heavy F suites, that would make the range increase to be able to offer a direct flight to the East Coast at least.
Maybe it is a good time to also consider the introduction of premium economy as well? Other airlines are having good success with it, and I don’t see why 9W would want to lose the opportunity.
Jet Airways‘ First Class is going away because it is no longer competitive and no longer chosen by those who wish to pay for it. Heck, no one could even convince me to upgrade to it earlier this year.
What do you think should Jet Airways do with their First Class? Get out of it or move it to other markets?