Starting this fall, ATA will offer what it calls business-class service on Boeing 737-800 and 757-300 airplanes. Each of the large planes will have 12 wide leather seats, and the travelers who fill those seats will get perks such as priority check-in and boarding.
By offering more comfort and amenities for at least some passengers, ATA hopes to find a profitable niche in a marketplace dominated by no-frills service and rock-bottom fares.
The strategic move comes as the discount airline is battered by competition, low ticket prices, high fuel costs and a decline in its military charter service. It comes even as ATA has warned that it will likely run out of cash in early 2005 and is restructuring its finances, possibly as Midwest restructured in 2003.
Well, on the one hand, it's good to see some forward-looking good news from ATA. I just wonder if this will come to pass given the other hurdles they have to clear.