Cabin Redesign: What Does It Mean for the Industry?
JetBlue has announced a major cabin upgrade for its entire fleet of Airbus A320s. In addition to a gate-to-gate wireless internet connection, the low-cost carrier’s planes will get slightly larger seats, more legroom and 10-inch seat-back screens (up from the current 5.6 inch models). Passengers can access Wi-Fi through the screens, so they will not have to bring their own devices onboard in order to take advantage of all the IFE offerings (which will include DirecTV and Amazon Instant Video access).
JetBlue and Southwest are leading the way when it comes to gate-to-gate Wi-Fi. They are the first two U.S. carriers to offer internet connections below 10,000 feet. JetBlue is taking the idea a step further by connecting seat-back screens to the internet.
Set to take place between 2017 and 2019, this extensive remodeling project could do much more than simply make for a nicer ride on board JetBlue flights. With the domestic market being where it is, this remodel could blur the lines between low-cost and traditional carriers, touching off a new kind of competition amongst major airlines.
As the success of Spirit in the U.S., Ryanair in Europe and AirAsia in the Far East have shown, airlines can compete on price alone. The aforementioned trio won’t win any awards for their customer service or their in-flight experiences, but people still fly them because they think they are getting the best possible fare.
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