In a first, SpiceJet announced on Friday that it will offer 30 premium economy seats on its flights operated by Boeing 737 fleet.
The airline said the premium economy class will constitute first five rows in its Boeing fleet and have a seat pitch of 36 inches. The passengers of this class will be given priority check-in, extra baggage allowance and probably free meals too (for some fare classes).
“We still have to decide on whether to include the middle seat in the aircraft in the premium economy category too and the pricing pattern to be followed. All this will be announced when the premium economy seats will be launched in a month’s time,” said Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer at SpiceJet.
Currently, GoAir offers eight out 12 seats in the first two rows (middle seats are vacant) of its aircraft as business class seats at a fixed charge of Rs 2,000 more than the price for normal seats. IndiGo does not offer any business class seats and charges extra for choosing seats in the front row and seats behind emergency seats that offer extra leg room.
With these initiatives, SpiceJet is trying to differentiate itself from other low-cost carriers in the market.
“The Indian market does not require more than one ultra low-cost carrier and we are working towards branding us differently and increase our ancillary revenues at the same time,” said Kapoor.
In an attempt to position itself different from other carriers, the airline has also announced to offer hot meals, highest leg room among low-cost carriers and frequent fare sales.SpiceJet also launched its revamped on-board menu with in-flight catering provider Taj SATS and in association with Cafe Coffee Day on Friday.
SpiceJet has already launched “on time guarantee” programme that assures passengers that the airline will depart on time and in case of delays, flyers will be compensated with vouchers for their next travel.
In another development, SpiceJet has also announced that it is planning to increase domestic flights by about 5 per cent this year. The airline’s fleet now comprises 15 Bombardier Q400 aircraft and 36 Boeing 737 aircraft — two new Boeings will get added this year.
Kapoor said new overseas destinations will also be added to the SpiceJet network. These include new flights to Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kabul.