SpiceJet starts removing Business Class from ex-Jet Airways aircraft

After the shutdown of Jet Airways, SpiceJet and Vistara had inducted many ex-Jet Airways 737 aircraft, which were immediately put in service in a hybrid livery. For Vistara, they eventually took in about nine 737-NG aircraft, and SpiceJet, affected by the MAX grounding globally, tookover 22 737 aircraft from various lessors to Jet Airways.

The consequence for the airlines has been, of course, that while they have been a mixed fleet in place now. Vistara has the A320CEO/NEO and 737-800 NGs in their fleet of aircraft. But SpiceJet has a whole lot of configurations now. As per various narrations, their Boeing fleet includes seven sub fleets:

  • Four 737-700s with 8J126Y seats
  • Three 737-700s with 149Y seats
  • 28 737-800s with 189Y seats
  • 23 737-800s with 12J156Y seats
  • 1 737-900 with 28J139Y seats
  • Four 737-900ER with 212Y seats
  • 13 737-8 MAX with 189 seats

At the point in time, SpiceJet, who as a no-frills carrier now had aircraft with business class fitted in their fleet, which they sold as SpiceBiz on many routes, and as SpiceMAX on other routes. SpiceJet had made a comment that they would look at removing the Business Class product and retrofitting their planes to their uniform configuration after the peak travel season is over. This comment was made the end of May 2019.

It seems the airline has been working on this project since then. An ex-Jet Airways airframe, which was inducted by SpiceJet in June 2019, with registration VT-SXA. This aircraft was earlier flying as VT-JGW in the 9W fleet in a 12J156Y configuration. And then, this aircraft went into the shop for the longest time. As per FlightRadar24, it headed into the MRO on June 19, 2019, after about one week of operations with the airline.

The aircraft got back into service only on September 26, 2019. Karan, who has been tracking the aircraft closely, noticed that the plane now has a 186Y configuration, and no Business Class seats.

Here is the flight schedule of this aircraft on October 1, 2019.

When Karan tried to book tickets, here is the seat map that turned up,

As of writing this, the airline is operating the same schedule for this aircraft.

I am not sure how many aircraft will be reconfigured and under what timeline, but what is confirmed is that SpiceJet is actually going to reconfigure some ex-Jet Airways aircraft to bring it to full Y configuration of SpiceJet.

What do you make of this move from SpiceJet?

Reporting by Karan Patel. 

Comments

  1. I have a couple of bookings in December in what is clearly that business class, seat 2A in the AEY aircraft. It would be interesting to see what happens to those planes. If they change the equipment, I will want my Spicemax fee back. Just hoping that they would give me enough notice and not put me in a last-row middle seat at the last moment.

  2. Probably a good move. Having a biz product on a sub fleet reduces their versatility. Plus they aren’t really a premium brand so it’ll take time (and money) to build that up which isn’t worth it for a LCC that can at best only deploy such seats on a few routes anyway. Not to mention the complexity this will add from a catering perspective. Besides, for the passenger what is the draw for business class on a carrier without a frequent flier program?

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