Jet Airways Is the Latest Carrier to Cut First Class

May 21, 2018

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While still a common offering on many international carriers, once United ends international first-class service on June 20, American will be the sole US airline to offer a cabin above business on long-haul flights.

International airlines have been making cuts, too — Emirates and Singapore are obviously still going strong, but carriers like Lufthansa have cut back on its first-class offerings in response to reduced demand. Jet Airways is now the latest carrier to trim its premium service — with superior biz-class products like Qatar’s Qsuite competing on India-Europe flights, there’s less incentive for customers to spring for an older first-class suite.

TPG enjoying Jet’s 777-300ER suite.

Currently, Jet offers first-class service on its 777-300ERs, which operate on the following routes:

  • Delhi (DEL) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Delhi (DEL) – Hong Kong (HKG)
  • Delhi (DEL) – London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Mumbai (BOM) – Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Mumbai (BOM) – London Heathrow (LHR)
  • Mumbai (BOM) – Paris (CDG)

Jet also offers first class on its fifth-freedom flight between Amsterdam (AMS) and Toronto (YYZ).

Rather than compete with carriers like Emirates (above), Jet Airways has decided to eliminate first-class service. Photo by Zach Honig.
Rather than compete with carriers like Emirates (above), Jet Airways has decided to eliminate first-class service. Photo by Zach Honig.

The plane in question currently sports 8 enclosed first-class suites, 30 1-2-1 herringbone business-class seats and 308 coach seats, in a dense 3-4-3 arrangement with a generous 32 inches of pitch. According to an article in The Hindu, Jet will boost the total capacity to 400 seats by eliminating first class and replacing it the current business-class product — “without altering the leg room.”

Jet’s current 1-2-1 business class.

Jet’s 1-2-1 business class is already a big step up from competitor Air India’s 777-300ER product, and even the newer 2-2-2 seats on the Dreamliner. But if the airline hopes to compete with the likes of Etihad and Qatar, a major biz-class refresh certainly makes sense.

According to The Hindu, Jet CEO Vinay Dube claims that first class hasn’t been profitable for the airline, and that “the world’s finest business cabins” will be added to the carrier’s fleet of 777s over the next 20 months. With products like this to compete with, that’s quite the lofty claim.

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