Back on my all First Class-airline subject again!
Each day, there are 8 flights (give or take one) by US or UK carriers on the LAX-LHR route. On average, those aircraft have 14 seats in their First Class cabin, for a daily total of approximately 112 First Class seats, each going for a bit over $10,000/rt (AA quoted me at $13,5).
What if some small airline started operating the LAX-LGW route with a 767-200, configured in an "all suite" layout of 16 suites, each capable of holding two passengers, for a total of 32 passengers possible. Do you think that the airline could attract 16 of those possible 112 First Class passengers? READ ON.
Each suite would be the equivalent length of six windows (four for the actual suite, and two for the lav/shower unit), much like this Airbus A319CJ pictured here: . Each suite would be equipped with two extra wide couches (facing eachother) with lowerable center armrests (for "sleep mode"), and an extra large fold-out table located next to the window, so passengers can take advantage of the aerial views as they dine. Separate lavatory and shower facilities for each suite would be included (space/weight-saving showers pioneered by SQ), as would be state-of-the-art video and audio entertainment.
Pricing would be not per seat, but per suite. Each suite would be in the range of $10,000-$11,000, single occupancy, with an additional person added to the suite for only $5,000 more. Priced competitively to the Seat-Suites of UA, BA, VS, and AA for a single passenger, and priced extremely well from the standpoint of two passengers travelling together.
Limo transfers to the passenger's hotel or residence from LGW would be available, as well as helicopter service to LHR and the city center. Limo transfers to the passenger's hotel, residence, or city center from LAX would also be available.
A little run-through of the actual flight:
B O A R D I N G
Upon boarding, passengers would be shown to their suite, their belongings stowed, and a pre-departure drink offered. Passengers would then be offered a small booklett, highlighting the features of the suite, the video entertainment guide, the menu, as well as other flight details, such as the planned route and airport information.
I N F L I G H T
Shortly after takeoff, flight attendants would let each suite passenger know that they may either choose to dine immediately after takeoff, or at their leisure. All passengers must do to request anything during the flight, from dining to help with a customs form is lift the handset provided in the suite, which will connect them to a flight attendant. Following this, cocktails and apperatifs would be offered, and whenever the passenger chooses, a six-course meal would be served en-suite.
If a passenger requests the turndown service, a flight attendant would quickly convert the couches into a 6'6" long, double bed, complete with 'mattress', sheets, duvet, and down-filled pillows.
P R I O R T O L A N D I N G
:45 prior to landing, flight attendants would suggest passengers prepare themselves (ie: shower, shave, etc.) for arrival. This would also serve as the final opportunity to enjoy a meal before landing.
:15 prior to landing, flight attendants would begin preparing the cabin for landing, returning the beds to their takeoff/landing positions as couches, as well as take any service items.
A F T E R L A N D I N G
After landing, passengers would proceed down the "FasTrack" line through Customs and Immigration, arriving at the concierge desk where they would be able to hop in their awaiting limo/helicopter.
16 suites @ $10,000/rt = $160,000/rt.
16 suites @ $10,000/rt + 16 addt'l pax @ $5,000/rt = $240,000
One 767-200 @ $70,000 operating costs/rt (11 hr. flight) = at least $90,000 operating profit/rt.
F L Y 7 7 7 U A L