Jet Airways to reconfigure 17 aircraft to all-economy seats

Hyderabad, March 3 (IANS) As demand for premium class seats continues to be low, leading Indian private carrier Jet Airways is reconfiguring the seats in at least 17 aircraft to an all-economy class, a top official said here Wednesday.

Speaking on the sidelines of an international conference on aviation at the old Begumpet Airport here, chief commercial officer of Jet Airways Sudhir Raghavan said the re-configuration was being proposed in the fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.

‘This is being done to increase our low-cost offerings and increase our passenger load factor significantly. We are taking out the premium seats and reconfiguring at least 17 aircraft to all-economy seats,’ Raghavan told IANS.

The airline has already diverted a significant number of its daily seats to its low-cost sub-brand, Jet Konnect, to shore up seat factor, even as the move is resulting in lower earnings per seat.

Jet Airways flew 1.28 million passengers of the total 4.08 million carried by Indian carriers during January this year, registering a market share of 25.2 percent, according to official data released Feb 12.

Jet Airways currently operates a fleet of 89 aircraft, comprising 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, 12 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 53 next generation Boeing 737-700/800/900 aircraft and 14 modern ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft.

Since November 2008, it has been implementing measures to cut costs and rationalise its flights to cope with the slowdown, including withdrawal of some international services and lowering the capacities of some others.

The airline, along with its no-frills service Jet Airways Konnect service, operates over 300 flights daily, while its wholly-owned subsidiary JetLite operates over 110 flights. Together, they have a fleet of 112 aircraft, operating over 410 flights daily.

Jet Airways is among the participants at the five-day India Aviation 2010 exposition here that was inaugurated by Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel. The event is being co-hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

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