Jet Airways planning to provide more personal space to flyers

New Delhi: No more cramped seating, more elbow room, and more comfortable flight to many more destinations. This is the sum-total of Jet Airway''s plans for its fleet upgradation.

The airline has embarked on a programme to discard one row of seats in the business and economy classes, in order to provide more space to domestic passengers.

If implemented, around 6 to 12 seats would be discarded in each Boeing 737. The airline had a seating configuration of six seats in each row in the economy class, and four seats in each row in the business class.

According to industry sources, the roll out of the aircraft is expected to begin soon, with the entire domestic fleet upgrade to be completed in a phased manner by November 2007.

Jet Airways has decided to compete on in-flight comfort, which is not a focus area for too many domestic airlines, except for certain specific airlines who compete with Jet on most of its parameters. Apparently, once the seating is re-configured, Jet Airways would be "right at the top, matching what competition has on offer", according to a company source.

The airline could soon fly to China as well. According to sources, Jet Airways has been allotted a 2:00 am slot by the Chinese, which though inconvenient, is exchangeable at a global slot exchange meeting that is scheduled to be held soon.

Exchanging of slots is normal in the industry, and the airline is reportedly optimistic about launching its India-Shanghai-San Francisco service some time early next year.