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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

JAL to expand Premium Economy service to Jakarta and Delhi

Japan Airlines announced that they will expand the Premium Economy service to the Jakarta (CGK) and Delhi (DEL) routes. This is something JAL should have done long time ago considered they are currently giving those Sky Shell seats (the seats in the PY cabin) out for free! Ticket sales start from January 28 2010.

Below are the flights affected:

NRT-CGK (JL725/726) from April 1 2010, daily service with 777-200ER
NRT-DEL (JL749/740*) from April 2 2010, 3 weekly (Tuesday, Friday, Sunday) service with 777-200ER

* The current flight numbers JL741/742 will change to this when JAL realign its flights numbers from March 28 2010

This is something JAL should have done LONG TIME AGO! First it's a long flight (around 10 and 8 hours from NRT to DEL and CGK respectively) and JAL has introduced Shell Flat seats to those routes a while back. So why not Premium Economy? BUT the most important point is, passengers on those flights have been getting Premium Economy FOR FREE for a while! JAL has been using W51 configuration, a three-class config 777-200ER, on these routes and giving out the Sky Shell seats to elites and lucky passengers. Why not start charging them and let whoever willing to pay for it to sit in those seats? The worst case scenario, no one is willing to pay the premium for those seats. Then you just use the PY cabin as Y, which is what JAL is currently doing. If there are some people booked in those class, then assign the number of rows needed for those passengers, and op-up the minimum number of Y passengers. You get extra revenue on PY tickets and the op-ups get the extra amenities and snacks, which probably costs less than the extra revenue the PY cabin generates. And by the way, the ticket isn't that much more expensive compared to some Y tickets. A round trip PY ticket is only 10,000 yen to 20,000 yen more compared to some JAL Economy Saver fare (well not the cheapest kind :P) according to the press release.

But it's never too late to do this. Considered this as one more step towards recovery. Good job!

Source: JAL Press Release (Japanese only for now)

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