Jet Airways to drop first class, upgrade business cabins

Airline to enhance seating capacity on 777s to 400, modernise domestic fleet

May 05, 2018 09:01 pm | Updated 09:01 pm IST - Mumbai

  Business on board:  CEO Vinay Dube says these are ways in which one can increase the cost efficiency.

Business on board: CEO Vinay Dube says these are ways in which one can increase the cost efficiency.

Private carrier Jet Airways, which has completed 25 years, is set to revamp operations by entirely doing away with the first class and upgrading its business class seats on international flights.

The airline would also strengthen its domestic network by introducing a modern fleet.

As part of its plan, the airline will do away with the first class seats it offers in the 10 Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Presently, each of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has a configuration of eight first class, 30 premiere (business class) and 308 economy seats. Jet Airways will upgrade the business class seats under a total revamp, enhancing the seating capacity to 400.

The airline has got 346 seats on its 777s and is working on a process that will take about 20 months to put 400 seats on them without altering the leg room.

‘No returns’

“That means we will get rid of first class since it is not giving us the return we are looking for. In place of this, we will upgrade our business class and will get the latest seats. A decade ago, our business class cabin was the world’s finest. Now we are taking steps to have the world’s finest business cabins over the next 20 months. These are ways in which one can increase the cost efficiency,” said CEO Vinay Dube.

Mr. Dube said that the airline was working on densification.

“We will densify our 777s. Our 737 Max will come with 15% fuel burn efficiency. They will come with eight more seats per aircraft. They are larger, so you get lower cost per seat. We will also reduce sub-fleet complexity, Mr. Dube said.

‘More uniform fleet’

“Today, we have got multiple sub-fleets. We are getting a more uniform fleet. The 737 NGs will be returned after end of the lease. The brand new MAX, whose delivery will extend till 2025-26, will replace them.”

Jet Airways plans to grow at 8-10% CAGR for the next five years.

“Today, we have 80 plus narrow body 737s. Six years from now, we will have a 150 brand new Max aircraft flying. So, we will close to double our B737 fleet in the next six years,” the CEO said.

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