Air India recently announced it will be reverting to the earlier two-class configuration in its new Airbus A320 neo aircrafts. The airline is planning changes once again after more than four years. The airline’s decision has come after it witnessed a significant increase in the number of business travelers.
Media reports said that India’s national carrier Air India has decided to select once again its two-class configuration, which will be seen in its 14 new Airbus A320 neo aircrafts to be included in the airline’s fleet during the next few months. The airline had four years ago adopted the two-class configuration but decided to abandon it because of the economic slowdown.
The reports said that the Airbus A320 neo aircrafts would be provided to Air India on a dry lease basis by a Kuwait-based leasing firm, which will start early next year. The A320 neo aircrafts will have a capacity to seat a total of 160 passengers. Each of these aircrafts will have 12 seats in business class and 148 seats in economy class. Moreover, the aircraft will also have more seat pitch when compared to other airlines.
A spokesperson of Air India said that once it will start receiving Airbus A320 neo aircrafts in its fleet, the airline will start phasing out some of its existing Airbus A320 aircrafts, most of them being of 26 years or more. Currently, Air India owns a fleet of 66 Airbus aircrafts, which comprises 24 Airbus A320s, 20 Airbus A321s and 22 Airbus A319s.
The airline’s spokesperson further said that the significant growth in the business travelers and overall rise in load factor has prompted Air India to opt for two-class configuration once again. It may be noted that the rise in load factor indicates that things have started looking up for the airline with rising seat occupancy. Travel experts have also said that more corporate executives in recent times increasingly prefer to travel in business class flights because of growth in economy and many other factors.