Will reconfigure all its Airbus aircraft into dual cabin aircraft

A week after announcing its decision to focus totally on the full service segment of air travel, Kingfisher Airlines, over the next four months, will reconfigure all its Airbus aircraft into dual cabin aircraft with a reduced premium business class cabin and an increased number of full service economy class seats, leading to a capacity increase of about 10 per cent.

“The economy class will offer the same comfort as it does today. The space requirement for additional economy seats will be made available by reducing the number of business class seats,” Sanjay Aggarwal, CEO of Kingfisher, said in a statement.

The reconfigured aircraft will have the seat equivalency of a low fare carrier but an opportunity to generate much higher revenue as demonstrated by current yields. Kingfisher will achieve incremental business class revenue as a result of wider and uniform availability and the airline will also generate incremental revenue through its increased full service economy class capacity, Mr. Aggarwal said.

“There will be no reduction in Kingfisher's fleet size or its network. Our guests will continue to enjoy the benefits of Kingfisher's network that provides connectivity to 60 domestic and eight international destinations,” he said.

Kingfisher currently operates Airbus aircraft with two cabin configurations — dual cabin full service and single cabin no frills. This also means Kingfisher does not offer its premium business class or full service economy class product on all its routes. As a result, it was losing a certain amount of business class traffic on many routes, he said.

Mr. Aggarwal said that operating costs of low-cost carriers and full service carriers, in terms of fuel, airport charges, engineering and maintenance and crew, were similar.

Full service carriers incur additional costs on global distribution, in-flight catering, ground amenities and the frequent flyer programme. These additional costs were more than recovered through higher yields, he said.

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