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Jet Airways plans to scrap first class in Boeing 777 fleet

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Jet Airways is planning to do away with first-class seats in its Boeing 777 planes that are operated for long-haul flights as it works on cost-cutting measures, a senior airline official said. The carrier, earlier this week, told investors about its plans for strategic growth where the key focus would be on cost minimisation. According to the official, Jet Airways is looking at doing away with first class seats in Boeing 777 planes in order to increase the number of seats in them as part of larger cost reduction efforts. Currently, the full-service carrier – in which Gulf carrier Etihad has a 24 per cent stake – has 10 Boeing 777 aircraft. These planes have eight first, 30 business and 308 economy class seats. In a presentation to investors recently, the airline said it would increase the number of seats in Boeing 777 planes, to around 400 seats from 2019 onwards, from 346 seats.

When asked how the airline is going to implement the proposed increase in the number of seats in its Boeing 777 aircraft, a Jet Airways spokesperson said the initiative is one among several measures being evaluated by the carrier. “The airline plans to increase seats in its Boeing 777s from 346 to nearly 400, as part of its continued endeavour to reduce costs and realise higher revenue in the foreseeable future,” he said. Without divulging specific details, including the estimated cost for refurbishing these planes, he said the airline will share additional details at an appropriate time. As per the presentation, the carrier will look to reduce maintenance expenses from January 2019 as well as bring down cost of sales and distribution and also focus on enhancing ancillary revenue by around INR 250 crore.

Jet Airways has a fleet of over 110 aircraft, comprising B777-300 ERs, A330-200/300, next generation B737s and ATR 72- 500/600s. It has 21 code share and 107 interline partners and about 15 per cent of the carrier’s passenger feed comes from partners. Code sharing allows an airline to book its passenger on partner airlines and provide seamless transport to destinations. An interline pact allows a carrier to issue and accept tickets for flights that are operated by the partner airline.