Air India sets up panel to look into cabin restructuring

November 22nd, 2011 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai/New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) National carrier Air India may opt for adding more economy seats on its domestic flights being operated on Airbus aircraft to increase yields, an airline official said Tuesday.

Air India chairman-cum-managing director Rohit Nandan has constituted a committee to look at ways to increase per flight yields in accordance with occupancy ratio.

“A committee has been formed to look at ways to increase per flight revenues. One of the things in their consideration is the cabin restructuring by adding more economy seats,” a senior Air India official, who did not want to be named, told IANS.

According to the official, the committee will submit its report to the airline board, which will take the final call on the cabin restructuring.

“There has traditionally been low occupancy for the premium class seats, which averages between 20 percent to 40 percent per flight,” the official said adding that economy class seats have occupancy rate from 60 percent to 90 percent.

“Why should we fly empty seats, while there is an option of flying more economy seats or in some unique cases business class seats,” the official added.

The official said that there are around 50 narrow body aircraft that have business segment seats on domestic sector.

While the total narrow body planes number around 63, all the aircraft are from Airbus.

The business-class seats range from eight to 20 on different kinds of aircraft on domestic routes.

Earlier, Vijay Mallya-led Kingfisher had started reconfiguration of its planes for improving yields.

The airline had said in September that it will shut down its non-frills arm Kingfisher Red as part of a series of restructuring activities, which includes increasing the number of economy seats aimed at increasing capacity by around 10 percent.

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