In the height of Covid-19, airlines are having to rapidly innovate and the fastest route to market is adapting products that airlines already have in their arsenal. While potentially the next few months could see the rebirth of the All-Business Class era once again – with nimble boutique style carriers appealing to those wanting to skip the queues and the masses – some airlines might be bringing their own All-Premium Class products to the skies too.
While British Airways has a fully-fledged Business Jet service between London City and New York (although it’s now suspended), and La Compagnie’s boutique service exists between Paris and New York, Air Canada have decided to enter the market with their ‘Jetz’ A319 aircraft (usually used for premium Charters featuring in seat power and WiFi and 42-49″ seat pitch.
Beginning June 1st, the airline is introducing a new ‘Premium Economy’ Jetz service on select flights between Toronto – Montreal and Toronto – Ottawa, a busy triptych of East Coast cities that requires a more frequent, superior metro-style service.
While these are roughly 1-hour flights, don’t expect much in the way of service for now, this is more about providing convenience, choice and space. These are some of the trends we have already covered in our ‘Future of Travel’ White paper which was announced earlier this week.
Jetz flights (identifiable by AC490-499 numbers and the premium economy booking class) will be departing from prime gate locations and begin boarding just 25 minutes before departure. “The aircraft features only 58 seats, as compared to the 120 seats on our mainline A319s – an exclusive offering and spacious cabin configuration providing more comfort and less waiting time when boarding and deplaning,” states Air Canada.
This is a very smart use of an airline’s existing fleet, while being responsive to the psychological concerns of passengers at the moment and creating brand preference at a time when all airlines are looking to claim a dominant market share.