Air India has decided to remove the first class cabin on its three B777-200LRs, which currently serve the Delhi–San Francisco route.
The decision comes barely a month after the Star Alliance member launched the service following less-than-impressive first class seat loads.
According to The Economic Times, Air India is only seeing about 25 per cent occupancy in first class.
In place of the premium cabin, Air India will be significantly expanding the economy cabin, with the number of seats on each aircraft predicted to rise to 298 – up from the existing 195.
Although to achieve this increase, Air India would have to implement a tight 10-across seating arrangement and reduce the seat pitch in order to accommodate 52 per cent extra seats in economy.
The B777-200LR currently sports a nine-across seat layout, with a 76-inch pitch.
Reconfiguring the B777-200LRs will cost about US$6 million, and will be done one aircraft at a time in order to allow Air India to continue operating the Boeing jet on flights to the US.
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