Akshay Mantri, Aeronautics Online writer

With the motive to trim costs and boost revenues, Mumbai-based Jet Airways/9W plans to completely eliminate the first class cabin on their 777’s in order to reduce expenses. 9W currently has 10 B777-300ER aircraft in their fleet. These 777’s are mainly deployed on long haul routes like London, Toronto, Amsterdam, and Hong Kong from the airlines’ two main bases (Mumbai and Delhi) in India.

 A Jet Airways spokesperson said in a press release, “Jet Airways is looking at doing away with first class seats in B777 planes in order to increase the number of seats in them as part of larger cost reduction efforts.” Reportedly, the current seating structure of 346 seats would be likely increased to around 400 seats soon. 9W expects to bring down cost of sales and expenses whilst reducing maintenance expenses from late 2018.

 With plans to reduce as much expenses as possible, Jet Airways has planned to focus on enhancing ancillary revenue by around RS 250 crore (USD $3.8 billion). The carrier has 75 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on order from Boeing, which the carrier plans to receive by the year 2020. The first 737 MAX for 9W would be delivered by March next year. “Migration to fuel-efficient aircraft, larger narrow body fleet size and cost optimization would be part of its restructured cost base,” said a 9W spokesperson.

 Middle Eastern carrier Etihad Airways holds 24% stake in Jet. Partnered together, about 15% of the carriers passenger load is shared with Etihad Airways. In 2016, 9W received 6 777’s after they were leased to EY back in 2014 when the carrier had faced a financial crisis. Soon after, 9W had expanded its international network and had also increased frequency of many profitable markets. Earlier this month, they launched a 3rd daily flight to London (LHR) from Mumbai onboard the B777-300ER aircraft.

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