To fly, To serve. Those words seem more and more hollow under Alex Cruz, as further changes are being made.
We all know about the catering debacle that’s going on in short-haul, as well as various stupid little cuts that have going on.
British Airways Boeing 777-200 taxing at Heathrow – Image, Economy Class and Beyond (Editors note: I’ve chosen this image for a reason. Read on).
It was only a matter of time before the hard product was hit. And that hit has come today at the IAG Capital Markets day
It seems that British Airways will be densifing its Boeing 777 fleet, with 25 frames being changed from a three-class 280 seater configuration to a 332 seater configuration
BA announces at IAG Capital Markets Day 25 Boeing 777s will move from 9-10 seats a row in World Traveller & more seats on short-haul aircrft pic.twitter.com/U6QFe5T2C9
— LondonAirTravel (@LondonAirTravel) November 4, 2016
And here’s the slide in better deal – deck avalible at the IAG site (slide 20 from the IAG Capital Investors day presentation)
Here’s the before and after in numbers
Club World World Traveller Plus World Traveller Count 40 24 216 280 32 (-8) 48 (+24) 252 (+36) 332
So why? Look at the slide header, and you should be able to work it out – British Airways is scared of Norwegian Air Shuttle. It seems the airline can’t compete at the moment… and thus with a denisfied layout – they want to lower the cost per seat lower than Norwegian to compete.
British Airways operated 10 across seats in the past unsuccessfully – but from the looks of it they feel this is the only way to make Gatwick work.
However, there’s a stinger here that going to be nasty (and I’m not talking about short-haul planes – work with me). Currently there are around 10 to 15 Boeing 777s that are assigned to Gatwick services to operate their long haul fleet.
British Airways want to densify 25 frames. And there’s only ONE other operation that has a Boeing 777 hub for BA. Which means these dense 777s are coming to Heathrow too.
Lets move onto the hot mess that is short-haul, with A319/A320/A321 fleet. And there’s bad news all around, with planes being densifed further:
- Airbus A321 fleet seat count increases from 205 to 218 seats (+13 seats) by Summer 2018
- Airbus A320 fleet seat count increases from 168 to 180 seats (+12 seat) by Winter 2017
- Airbus A319 fleet reduced from 44 to 26 by 2021
With these numbers, British Airways are bringing the capacities of the planes close enough to where some low-cost carriers are operating them today.
The first line of this post was ‘”To Fly, To Serve”. Those words seem more and more hollow.’
And to a passenger that’s using British Airways – including the premium leisure passenger who uses BA to get away on holiday, these words will run very hollow indeed.
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