Delta Air Lines is reducing the number of business class seats on some international Boeing 767 and 777s to create room for more economy class seats and improve load factors on international routes.
Delta will cut premium seats on certain 767s to 22 from 36, allowing it to free up space for about 20 economy seats on the aircraft, says Glen Hauenstein, the carrier’s executive vice-president of marketing, network planning and revenue management. He was speaking during an investor day conference on 11 December.
Certain layouts of Delta’s 767-300s feature 36 BusinessElite seats plus economy comfort and economy sections.
The airline also plans to remove seven of the 45 BusinessElite seats in the 777 to add about 30 coach seats.
Delta will turn some of the lowest-fare business class capacity for the airline into coach seats with the re-configurations, says Hauenstein. These lowest-cost business class seats are “not that profitable” for the airline, says Hauenstein.
Delta’s premium load factors are in the high 60% range, says Hauenstein. Because traffic on domestic and international routes may vary greatly depending on the day and at certain times, premium load factors could be in the 50% to 60% range mid-week or as high as 90% during the weekend, he explains.
Delta will complete installations of flat-bed seats on its international widebodies in May, says Stephen Gorman, the airline’s chief operating officer and executive-vice president. The carrier is working to complete one more flat-bed installation on a 767 and about 28 more modifications on the Airbus A330 fleet, he says.