Airline scraps first class seats, because the posh like it rough
The world may be edging out of recession, but it's forced many of us to take a long, hard look at the money we piss up the wall. The net-result is that Oz-based Qantas Airways are cutting first class services from the majority of its flights, after their chief executive stated that on a typical flight, six out of ten first class seats are empty.
Qantas flies to 16 domestic and 21 international destinations, but the changes in first class availability will mean passengers will only be able to fly up front between Australia and London via Singapore, and direct between Australia and Los Angeles. The airline will ''reconfigure'' the seating arrangements to squeeze about 100 extra seats on their A380s and 50 on their jumbo jets. Earlier in the week, CityJet - a subsidiary of Air France - launched a new premium economy class, replacing current business class seats on their flights, meaning less room for around a third off the ticket price.
If other airlines were to follow the same model, would this flood of cheap seats mean a tumble in prices for air travel? Probably not. Given that the bulk of revenue from a flight comes from the 10 to 15 per cent of passengers willing to pay a premium for first class travel, it's unlikely a big increase in seat availability will mean lower prices. Even if the increase in economy fares generated a similar level of revenue, the massive increase in weight would surely see any profit swallowed up any profits in fuel costs and staffing.