This is the formal statement taken from El Al regarding the new Platinum class;
El Al Platinum – an all-inclusive flight experience
From arrival at the airport until touchdown at the destination
The new El Al Platinum offers:
-Increased pitch between rows
-Greater recline of seat
-Personal service on the ground and in the air
-Choice of upgraded meals
El Al’s 777-200, 747-400 and 767ER aircraft operating on the airline’s long-range routes have been reconfigured to accommodate El Al Platinum.
El Al Platinum will begin operation on April 7, 2002 On El Al’s direct flights to and from New York, Toronto, Los Angeles, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
Michael Levi, Chairman of the Board El Al Airlines, today announced the inauguration of El Al’s special new Class – El Al Platinum. Levi explains that a major goal of the airline’s strategic plans is to become the natural airline of choice for Israeli business travelers. The decision to open the new Class resulted from a close assessment of the needs of the airline’s clients, especially in the business segment, and resolved to meet the most advanced standards in modern international aviation. The inauguration of the new Class is part of El Al’s Turnabout plan, the new strategic plans formulated by the airline in mid-2001 and now being implemented. Levi noted that the airline’s 777, 747-400 and 767 planes for long-range routes have been reconfigured to suit El Al Platinum.
Levi adds that he has no doubt this change will increase El Al’s market share of business travelers on the routes in which the new Class will operate. Between October 2001 and February 2002, El Al’s market share at Ben-Gurion Airport rose by five percent.
El Al President David Hermesh notes that the decision to open El Al Platinum is part of the change in the airline’s marketing concept. Hermesh adds that implementation of the plan is part of the airline’s new Turnabout strategy plan, according to which El Al will focus on the business market segment and make these travelers prefer El Al over the competition.
Hermesh adds that El Al aims to continue to focus on improving service. El Al’s advantages as Israel’s national carrier are well known among the Israel public as well as to its competitors around the world. “There is no question of our leadership in security, which no other airline approaches. And yet,” says Hermesh, “I do not doubt that we excel at offering service to our passengers, and we intend to continue focusing on improving our service.”
El Al Platinum – the Planes;
El Al Platinum will begin operating on April 7, 2002, on El Al’s long-range routes, on Boeing 777 and 747-400 aircraft to and from New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Hong Kong and Bangkok. On these planes El Al will continue to offer First Class and Economy Class service as well.
On El Al’s 767 planes that operate on long-range flights to these same destinations, only El Al Platinum and Economy Class service will be offered. On Boeing 737, 757, 747-200 and 767 aircraft that operate to the airline’s other destinations, Business Class and Economy Class service will be offered, as in the past.
El Al Platinum – Main Features;
Yitzchak Amitai, El Al Executive Vice President relates that the focal point of El Al Platinum is in the overall flight experience. The difference will be apparent from check-in at the airport and will include a change in the Shalom Service counters and more ground attendants to improve and accelerate service. Personal Representatives in the King David Lounge will be available to provide personal service to El Al Platinum passengers.
For better, more personal inflight service, El Al Platinum will have an expanded cabin crew. New menus, including wine lists, have been created to suit the passengers’ needs. Crockery and cutlery have been upgraded and redesigned in keeping with the new standard. Passengers may request course-by-course service of their meals or a Platinum Express meal – a quick meal served on one tray for those passengers who prefer to use the time onboard to catch up on their sleep or their work.
The most outstanding feature of the new El Al Platinum is the seating and sleeping comfort and the possibility of working comfortably while enjoying prestigious service.
The pitch of the seats in the new Class has been increased to 55-60 inches. The backrest in El Al Platinum can recline 15 inches and a footrest ascends to provide support for the lower limbs, creating maximum comfort. These are significant improvements over the present situation. Passengers in this Class have personal screens for viewing a variety of entertainment programs. In 777 and 747-400 aircraft each passenger also has a personal reading lamp attached to the seat.
Advanced Communications Technology To meet the special needs of the main target population – business travelers – El Al’s 747-400 aircraft have now been equipped with outlets for laptop computers. Outlets are already available on 777 aircraft, enabling passengers to work in maximal comfort during the flight. Some aircraft also feature onboard fax machines and telephones.
El Al Platinum Flight Frequency;
During the first stage, El Al Platinum will operate on the following flights:
16 weekly direct flights to New York
3 weekly direct flights to Toronto/Los Angeles
5 weekly direct flights to Bangkok
2 weekly direct flights to Hong Kong
At end June 2002, when the fourth 777 plane goes into service and the summer timetable is in effect, El Al will publish a new and updated schedule.
Complete Design Concept;
The changes introduced include an overcall image design for the Class. Emphasis has been placed on improving and changing the appearance of the Class and a newly designed logo reflects the distinction of the product. In the same spirit, linen dinner napkins, pillowcases and headrest covers were also redesigned to round out the overall concept for the Class. The new image includes innovatively designed check-in counters, luggage tags, boarding cards, menus and wine lists and personal greeting cards from the cabin crew.
The overall design was conceived by the international branding company, Siegelgale.
Starting on September, LHR will get Platinum service on all flights, untill then, all 777/744 flights to LHR will offer a regular Business class service.
This route will be followed by PEK and JNB in the near future and later also BOM.
As I've stated in the past, El Al keeps the 1st class on all 744s and 777s, this class offers fully flat beds with a state-of-the-art service.
LY is no longer offering a 1st class service on its 742.
LY will transfer the last 742B in service (AXQ) to Sun D'or for lowcost flights to the US in the summer.
In case demands rises, LY would keep AXQ for its own services and give Sun D'or AXH instead.
Replies are welcomed!
Michael. and Happy Pessach!