Akasa Air has started reconfiguring its Boeing 737 Max aircraft to replace 12 spacious seats in the front end of the cabin with its standard economy class seats. Eleven of the 20 Akasa Air aircraft came fitted with wider and more comfortable seats due to supply chain challenges. These aircraft have three rows in the front in a 2x2 configuration and seats have more leg room.
The seats attract an extra ₹3,500 charge and have been received well by customers. The airline, however, has decided to stick to its standard 189-seat configuration for all planes. The 11 aircraft that will undergo seat change have 174 seats in total.
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“We remain on track. By the end of the year, we hope to have our full set of aircraft in standard configuration. Consumers have definitely appreciated the seats, but we still think the right thing for us to have a standard product across the board,” airline’s founder and CEO Vinay Dube, told businessline.
A Boeing 737 Max aircraft is currently undergoing seat change work at GMR Aero Tecnic maintenance repair and overhaul unit in Hyderabad. More are expected to go for a seat change in the coming weeks, and this will result in a reduction of some flights.
Akasa Air did not share details about changes in the flight schedule. A person familiar with the airline’s plan said Akasa Air did not market the seats as a business class product to maintain service consistency.
“Customer expectations would have risen if it was branded as business class and they would expect to meet and greet service, hot meals, and a loyalty programme. Akasa Air doesn’t offer that. Customers have loved the comfortable seats. These are sold out on main metro routes, but on certain short-duration routes like Mumbai-Goa or those in the North East, there isn’t enough demand for them,” said a person in the know.