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Why are low-cost airlines flying business class?

NEW DELHI: Low-cost carrier SpiceJet entered the full-service segment offering business class tickets this month becoming the second budget carrier to do so after GoAir. IndiGo is planning to introduce business class on its long-haul flights. So, what’s getting no-frills airlines to upgrade?

Jet’s out of business

The grounding of Jet Airways‘ planes in March-April suddenly created a shortage of business class seats, which the low-cost airlines are rushing to fill. Plus, the additional cost of adding meals, allowing extra baggage or making minor seat adjustments is more than taken care of by the higher margin that a business class seat offers.

Read also: Four top Jet Airways executives resign in a day as revival hopes dim

Jet’s planes mean business

SpiceJet announced its new business class offering after acquiring some of Jet Airways’ now grounded Boeing 737s. Since, these aircraft are already fitted with business class seats, it makes little sense for the airline to spend in reconfiguring seats when the planes have been leased only on a temporary basis. That’s also the reason why SpiceJet announced 30-40% discounts on these seats.

Read also: SpiceJet offers business class from May 11 on select routes

Business of long flights

As domestic carriers like IndiGo expand abroad and flights get longer, the comfort of business class makes business sense too. “Once you get to six, seven, eight hours, the body gets tired, people need to use the washrooms more, people need to eat more frequently, all of those things change … we have to redesign our product. Is it more pitch, is it more food, is it more hot towels, is it a business class?” says IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta. Global players like Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways are already offering premium economy seats on their flights to India in a bid to get more flyers to upgrade.

News credit : Indiatimes