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janders
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Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Wed May 01, 2019 8:49 pm

Effective June 1st, Korean Air will stop offering first class product on 27 routes. Currently, it offers first class on 62 of its 111 international markets.

KE says the change better reflects market demand plus increases the efficiency and maximize the profitability of its flights.

News link:
https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east- ... nal-routes
http://www.theinvestor.co.kr/view.php?ud=20190501000095

Seems like a logical move which has been replicated by one airline after airline. Global F class product is increasingly a small niche limited across fewer number of routes.
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LAXintl
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Wed May 01, 2019 8:58 pm

Yes, the industry trend continued.

Suppose longer term KE can better adjust its cabins also. Interesting to note, on 787 and A330s the F class seat is the same as business class, just in separate cabins and different meal service, so change would be easy to make on those fleet types.
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Kilopond
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Wed May 01, 2019 9:24 pm

What? No more super nuts on porcelain plates? Or was it in paper bags? Who cares... :lol:

Joke aside, F is very expensive to operate with a very tiny profit margin. Bare in mind that full-fare Y without any restrictions is just about 30% cheaper to buy. Imagine a slim, skinny teen-age person with no luggage and no appetite walking in last minute, buying such an overpriced Y ticket and beeing seated in the main cabin! THAT would be the dream passenger of every airline! However, this kind of cash cow is extremely hard to get.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Wed May 01, 2019 10:22 pm

From what I read - seems like there are times where F cabin is not really filled up (if not empty), but J is full. On planes that have the exact hard product (i.e. A330 or 787), this basically means KE lose money making opportunities when they could have sold those F seats as J.

It is definitely part of industry trend anyway - once KE update those outdated J product on A380 or their 777, I suspect that KE would eventually do away with F outside of the most prestigious routes (i.e. LAX, JFK, London)
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mercure1
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Wed May 01, 2019 11:11 pm

In many ways Asia was the last large vestige where F class was common, but increasingly its being removed as well.

From SQ A350ULRs with no F class, MH rebranding its A350 F as a business, CX with non F class 77Ws on longhaul, etc.

It seems with business class being so good, the need or business justification of F class is even more marginal these days.
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zeke
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Wed May 01, 2019 11:16 pm

mercure1 wrote:
In many ways Asia was the last large vestige where F class was common, but increasingly its being removed as well.

From SQ A350ULRs with no F class, MH rebranding its A350 F as a business, CX with non F class 77Ws on longhaul, etc.

It seems with business class being so good, the need or business justification of F class is even more marginal these days.


The hard product in terms of the J class seat is far better than the F class seat 10-15 years ago. More passengers seem to have a desire for the lie flat seats in J class when traveling long haul without the desire for the F class soft product (F class lounge, F class catering etc).
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dtremit
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Wed May 01, 2019 11:54 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Interesting to note, on 787 and A330s the F class seat is the same as business class, just in separate cabins and different meal service, so change would be easy to make on those fleet types.


Given that exceptionally odd decision to use the same seat for J and F, you have to wonder if they have had this planned for a long time.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 12:07 am

BTW...I count the routes that are either 332/333 only, or 789 only, out of ICN (as of schedule this week):
332/333 Only:
SYD
BNE
CSX
CAN
TAO
SZX
TSN
WUH
XIY
ZAG
DEL
BOM
ULN
RGN
CEB
LED
CMB
TPE
CNX
HKT
DXB
TAS

Plus ICN-NRT-HNL

789 Only:
YYZ
YVR
SVO
BCN
MAD
BOS

That's 30 routes. Give or take a few routes in there (i.e. BOS, Australia, Canada?), and throw in CGO (Which sees some 772 subs) and DPS (Which only has 2/wk 777), looks like that's your 27 routes?
Last edited by zakuivcustom on Thu May 02, 2019 12:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 12:07 am

I’d imagine they will no longer offer F to BNE/AKL/NAN and possibly SYD?

I think they have F on all their widebodies? They have always surprised me, there just can’t be demand for F on so many of the routes they offer it on, I agree eventually just have a true F on LHR/FRA/CDG/LAX/JFK/ATL maybe 1-2 other longhaul and some premium short hul like TYO/HKG/SIN, and just have a true F product on the A380 and some 77W, maybe 748?
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 12:27 am

So the old first class is today's business class. Old business class is today's premium economy. On the other hand, old economy is today's economy plus. And basic economy is...
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 12:58 am

I did three ORD-ICN flights in recent months on Korean air and on all three flights my friend and I were the only ones in first. Not surprised to hear this and wouldn't be surprised if they dropped it from the 777s eventually like Asiana.
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 1:03 am

Interesting trend with First Class going away these days.

Some airlines still see a demand for it. SQ for example will be offering a new FCL and JCL product for their 777-9. Wonder if it will stick.......

Singapore Airlines will launch all-new first class suites and business class seats for its Boeing 777-9 jets, with airline CEO Mr Goh Choon Phong predicting a "quantum leap" from today's Boeing 777 premium cabins.


https://www.ausbt.com.au/singapore-airlines-new-first-class-business-class-for-boeing-777-9?utm_source=facebook
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 3:09 am

blooc350 wrote:
Some airlines still see a demand for it. SQ for example will be offering a new FCL and JCL product for their 777-9. Wonder if it will stick.......


There are certain routes where dedicated F still works. Note that KE is not even totally getting rid of F - just reducing the number of routes in which it'll be offered.

On the other hand, 62/111 is a HUGE number, and even after reduction, you're still talking about 35 routes. For comparison:
JL - F in 77W only, only operated on NRT-LAX/ORD/JFK, and HND-CDG/LHR/JFK/SFO, a total of 7 routes
NH (Again, F only in 77W): NRT-ORD/IAH/LAX/JFK/SFO/IAD, HND-PEK/FRA/LHR/ORD/LAX/JFK; Total 12 routes. It'll soon be 13 routes once their A380 start flying NRT-HNL.
CX (F in some 77W): HKG-JFK/LAX/SFO/ORD/BOS/LHR/CDG/MXP/PEK/HND, and HKG-YVR-JFK; Total 11 routes.

For SQ - routes like SIN-LHR/CDG and perhaps a few Japanese routes (along with one-stop TPAC) can definitely support F.
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 5:00 am

This isn't a surprise. The trend is pretty obvious and KE First is often "Business Class Seat, First Class Service" (Malaysia Airlines is rather similar with "Business Suites").

Business hard product has improved so much that there isn't nearly as much need for dedicated First as there used to be. And few airlines can afford the spectacular investments (including in ground service) required to have a First that truly, deeply differentiates the product from Business. Not to mention, First is often more of a perk for the highest-grade frequent flyer members rather than a revenue-generating thing in its own right, at least these days.

Is First "doooooooomed"? I don't think so but few airlines are in the position of offering a viable First. I do, however, think we'll see more "Business +" type "First Class" products (like with Thompson's Vantage First), and other airlines with Bespoke First Suite products (Etihad, Singapore, Emirates etc). I also think that more "integrated First Suites that use the Business Class monument space" (like Thompson's Vantage First) products will be developed too.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 12:06 pm

zakuivcustom wrote:
blooc350 wrote:
Some airlines still see a demand for it. SQ for example will be offering a new FCL and JCL product for their 777-9. Wonder if it will stick.......


There are certain routes where dedicated F still works. Note that KE is not even totally getting rid of F - just reducing the number of routes in which it'll be offered.

On the other hand, 62/111 is a HUGE number, and even after reduction, you're still talking about 35 routes. For comparison:
JL - F in 77W only, only operated on NRT-LAX/ORD/JFK, and HND-CDG/LHR/JFK/SFO, a total of 7 routes
NH (Again, F only in 77W): NRT-ORD/IAH/LAX/JFK/SFO/IAD, HND-PEK/FRA/LHR/ORD/LAX/JFK; Total 12 routes. It'll soon be 13 routes once their A380 start flying NRT-HNL.
CX (F in some 77W): HKG-JFK/LAX/SFO/ORD/BOS/LHR/CDG/MXP/PEK/HND, and HKG-YVR-JFK; Total 11 routes.

For SQ - routes like SIN-LHR/CDG and perhaps a few Japanese routes (along with one-stop TPAC) can definitely support F.

CX offers its first class products on the HKG-FRA route
CX - JL - LH - KE - KL - SQ - QR - QF - TG
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 12:50 pm

No surprise here that F is rarely profitable. The price differential between J & F and what is offered is stupid and makes for a failing value prop.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 1:02 pm

I’m surprised it took this long. OZ dropped F on all its non-A380 fleets (F being sold as J elsewhere). The trend is toward J/W/Y*/Y. A lot of ultra long haul doesn’t have F (such as DOH to AKL, SIN to EWR, SFO to SIN, and PER to LHR). Q-Suite, the J on QR, is better than traditional F.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Thu May 02, 2019 1:15 pm

RainerBoeing777 wrote:
CX offers its first class products on the HKG-FRA route


Yes indeed. I forgot to put FRA in on the list when I originally post. That's still only 12 routes with consistent F. (Routes like HKG-TPE, HKG-BKK, HKG-ICN sees occasional 4-class 77W subs).

But yes, ultimately the great reduction in difference F vs. J hard product doomed dedicated F. The soft product difference can only go so far. For an airline - they can probably make more money by putting in something like 12 J seats in the space that they put those 6 F seats for many routes.
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Fri May 03, 2019 3:28 am

Flight Global has a partial list of routes going 2-class including:

Toronto, Vancouver, Barcelona, Madrid, Istanbul, Zagreb, Brisbane, Auckland, Nadi, St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Irkustk and Tashkent, plus all routes to Japan, except for Seoul Gimpo to Tokyo Haneda and Osaka Kansai, and Seoul Incheon-Narita and Kansai, will move to dual-class operations.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... tes-457872
 
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eta unknown
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Fri May 03, 2019 3:38 am

No surprise really as a significant number of F seats were a staff bus.
Queue the rage of BNE losing F from the fanboy on this site...
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Fri May 03, 2019 3:57 am

UPlog wrote:
Flight Global has a partial list of routes going 2-class including:

Toronto, Vancouver, Barcelona, Madrid, Istanbul, Zagreb, Brisbane, Auckland, Nadi, St Petersburg, Vladivostok, Irkustk and Tashkent, plus all routes to Japan, except for Seoul Gimpo to Tokyo Haneda and Osaka Kansai, and Seoul Incheon-Narita and Kansai, will move to dual-class operations.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... tes-457872


Umm...so far 100% almost match with the list of flights that are operates by 332, 333, and/or 789, but nothing else. Essentially, I guess it'll go the way I suspected - all those 333/789 "First" (that are First in soft product only) will become J seats.

The only exception would be ICN-FUK/CTS/NGO, all of which having a single 77W or 773 (NGO) on that route.
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Fri May 03, 2019 4:50 am

I suspect many of these routes will get seasonal first class as they transition to F capable frames.
Ausbt has said SYD will get F when it gets 748/A388. YVR and AKL will likely be the same.

I reckon SIN will be one of the few South East Asian destinations to get F, have been on the route a few times and it's always been at least half full.

My guess is longterm KE's F network will look a bit like this.

Americas
ICN-SFO/LAX/SEA/ORD/IAD/JFK/ATL/LAS
Seasonal YVR/HNL

Europe
ICN-CDG/LHR/FRA/FCO
Seasonal MXP

Asia
SEL-TYO/KIX/HKG/SHA/PEK/SIN/TPE/BKK/HAN/DAD

Oceania
Seasonal SYD, AKL
 
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Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:14 am

Just saw this: https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.co ... ire-fleet/
KE is removing first class from their entire fleet and putting a upgraded business class product. I hope its a 1-2-1 direct aisle access like the current Delta One suites. Is this Delta's management at work finally causing changes for the better in the management of KE!?
Last edited by SQ22 on Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title was misleading
 
smi0006
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Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:28 am

Why would DLs management be at work? Don’t they only own 4% of Hanjin-KAL who turn are a majority shareholder, not the most influential at this stage. Common to popular belief - a successful industry strategy can be executed without DL input.

This is simply an industry trend that’s been slower to catch on in Asia. First class only works in certain markets.
 
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Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:29 am

This reminds me of a similar journey China Eastern did a few years back during the deliveries of the new 77W's and A332/A333 aircraft's and current A350/787 deliveries (different subsidiaries), all with 1-2-1 direct aisle access as they migrated away from the A340. Now China Eastern's business class is competitive and Korean's is not even though ICN is a better airport to transit through instead of PVG.
 
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Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sat Jun 22, 2019 2:06 am

Umm... Doesn't the article say:

Korean Air May Remove First Class From Their Entire Fleet

and.....

Korean Air is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet.

This certainly doesn't sound like a decision that has already been made, but rather one that is under consideration.
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Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:26 am

I hope they decide to keep F on routes where it hasn't been removed. KE doesn't have the best F product but it has the merit of actually having it. And it was easy to redeem miles for it.

The J changes are welcome though, I've been flying SIN-ICN alot lately and it's kind of hit or miss between the 7 abreast J on the 777 and Apex Suite 2-2-2 (2-2 upper deck) on the 747 and A330. I love the apex suite but even that has its flaws. Considering how the industry is going I'd guess they will go for something with doors similar to BA or to DL.
 
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Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:43 am

x1234 wrote:
Just saw this: https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea.co ... ire-fleet/
KE is removing first class from their entire fleet and putting a upgraded business class product. I hope its a 1-2-1 direct aisle access like the current Delta One suites. Is this Delta's management at work finally causing changes for the better in the management of KE!?


You need to reread what the article says and that is that they may remove F from the entire fleet, I doubt it will happen to soon given they only just announced the removal of it from 27 routes, they would have announced the whole removal at once imo given there is so little time between announcements.

I’d have thought there was a case to keep it in many US routes and LHR/CDG/FRA along with Asian routes like NRT/HND/SIN/HKG.

The A380s could do with additional Y seats and maybe moving F upstairs while reducing J slightly so they are a little more flexible on the routes they can use them on. Similar to SQ 6F 78J upper deck and additional Y for the whole lower deck say 360.

While some 77Ws could be 2 class to use to the likes of YYZ/YVR/HNL/SYD/AKL.
 
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Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:28 am

Intriguing they should actually consider this, cuz Korean government figures put their faith in KE, and that was the reason why KE kept F class on all routes up until recently.

It should be interesting to see which they decide to prioritize more: keeping gov't officials happy and thus the good relationship, or optimizing their equipments to maximize profit.
 
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Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sat Jun 22, 2019 5:34 am

Sounds good to me. Their First class on some of their aircraft are just business class seat on a different separate cabin!

Their new business class is great already. They don't actually need first class.
 
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Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:49 am

I wonder if this misintepretation of
Recent removal of first class from booking system on most routes except for key routes to US and Europe.

Even until now so called first class on A330s B787s were really same sear as business class anyways with very slight differences. Only some 777s, 747-8 and a380 have physically different seats.

I dont think they are going to physically remove first class sears anytime soon (esp from 747-8a and a380 and 77ws)
 
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Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:20 am

Such a shame carriers are getting rid of F. I say it has other things to do than with J having flat-beds. You have the proliferation of private jet travel as well.
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Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:32 am

Pellegrine wrote:
Such a shame carriers are getting rid of F. I say it has other things to do than with J having flat-beds. You have the proliferation of private jet travel as well.


I don't really think people who are in the market for a 50M jet, willing to pay 15K USD per hour of operation, are very interested in airline travel at all.

The first class cabins these days are, sadly for the airlines, increasingly filled by people who are not paying to sit there; it's staff, mileage redeemers and upgrades from C-class. Can't make a living off that, better to utilise the real estate in a more sensible way.
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Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:49 am

I flew business class with them several times long range (A380 and 747-8). It's pretty good with mini suites and enough for me. The first class seats look just like a waste of space to me. I couldn't afford it anyway.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:29 am

zakuivcustom wrote:
From what I read - seems like there are times where F cabin is not really filled up (if not empty), but J is full. On planes that have the exact hard product (i.e. A330 or 787), this basically means KE lose money making opportunities when they could have sold those F seats as J.

There is nothing preventing the selling of those “F seats” as J seats. That’s where revenue mgmt departments kick in. Imagine you have 3 empty seats on the F cabin. Just open 3 more business seats on reservation systems (on whatever booking class J/C/...). If at the time of check-in closure, you have 3 more passengers than seats at the J cabin, just upgrade your better customers to the F cabin.

If by chance you don’t have more passengers than seats while boarding, you don’t need to upgrade, and the F section will leave with empty seats (preserving the exclusivity of the product) and the J section will be packed... that’s life.

StudiodeKadent wrote:
This isn't a surprise. The trend is pretty obvious and KE First is often "Business Class Seat, First Class Service" (Malaysia Airlines is rather similar with "Business Suites").

Business hard product has improved so much that there isn't nearly as much need for dedicated First as there used to be. And few airlines can afford the spectacular investments (including in ground service) required to have a First that truly, deeply differentiates the product from Business. Not to mention, First is often more of a perk for the highest-grade frequent flyer members rather than a revenue-generating thing in its own right, at least these days.


The problem with offering the same seat but different add-on services is that most of those services are outsourced and they are hard to implement away from your home base, where your level of control over those things can be greater. Different catering is doable. Dedicated check-in? Sure, just contract with your handling one more check-in counter. But that won’t be like a first class wing or separate area like you can set up at your home base. Fast track? Well, J-ticketed passengers already have that. Separate F Lounge? Well... unless you have a partner running a F class lounge at the airport, F and J are going to share the same facility... Limo service to/from the airport? Yes, that’s contracted and you could do that, but again that’s only working at “selected” destinations...

I think as others have said that New Business is becoming the First class of 20 years ago. The main problem I see is the HUGE gap between those lie flat J seats and the W experience. Economy plus is in no noticeable way becoming the Business of 20 years ago. And it should to complete go full circle.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:57 am

AEROFAN wrote:
No surprise here that F is rarely profitable. The price differential between J & F and what is offered is stupid and makes for a failing value prop.

sorry to not know but what's the difference in price? i've never flown in F or J but could they not "upgrade" for say $100 or is the difference so much more
 
AEROFAN
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:53 pm

bluefrog wrote:
AEROFAN wrote:
No surprise here that F is rarely profitable. The price differential between J & F and what is offered is stupid and makes for a failing value prop.

sorry to not know but what's the difference in price? i've never flown in F or J but could they not "upgrade" for say $100 or is the difference so much more


Usually the differential is thousands $ more.

As an example:The price of a F class tkt next month on EK from JFK to Dubai is currently priced at $18,500. The price of J class for same dates is currently priced at $6,300. There will be no upgrading from J to F for $100. Heck, you can't even upgrade from Y to J for $100.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:54 am

bluefrog wrote:
AEROFAN wrote:
No surprise here that F is rarely profitable. The price differential between J & F and what is offered is stupid and makes for a failing value prop.

sorry to not know but what's the difference in price? i've never flown in F or J but could they not "upgrade" for say $100 or is the difference so much more



There are varying fare levels within each cabin and those fares are of course, subject to change. In the following example, I have provided the approximate and/or average fares; on departure from Los Angeles to Seoul/Incheon & v.v. (this is why I use the term “average” and “approximate.”) you will notice a significance.

+ LAX-ICN & v.v. (Roundtrip):
- Prestige Class (Business) ~USD3,400 - USD6,700
- First Class ~USD8,700 - USD11,400
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sabby
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Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:31 am

Interesting to note, the airlines who have significant F seats in their fleet are the ones with below par J seats e.g. LH, EK, BA (before new J seats), QF (A380/747), AF (older 777, A380). As newer planes get delivered with excellent J seats, Airlines won't be able to fill F with several thousands dollars/euros more price. QR,UA,AA,TG,MH,KL,CX etc have already removed F when they got newer planes with excellent J seats. Only the world's biggest finance capitals can sustain F so LHR,NYC,SIN,HND/NRT/,HKG.
 
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Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:54 am

Aisak wrote:
zakuivcustom wrote:
From what I read - seems like there are times where F cabin is not really filled up (if not empty), but J is full. On planes that have the exact hard product (i.e. A330 or 787), this basically means KE lose money making opportunities when they could have sold those F seats as J.


I think as others have said that New Business is becoming the First class of 20 years ago. The main problem I see is the HUGE gap between those lie flat J seats and the W experience. Economy plus is in no noticeable way becoming the Business of 20 years ago. And it should to complete go full circle.


I'd say it has already come full circle. In my recollection 20 years ago business class was the same seat as economy, just bigger. Maybe between 20 to 10 years ago businss got their own slightly wider seats but not lie flat. In the last 10 years nearly everyone has gone to lie flat in long haul for business. I understand Air France on the 380 is one of the holdouts.

Now, in some carriers, the 'economy plus' category is even as good as business class currently is in the Air France A380, e.g. Delta Premium Select and Westjet Premium and United Premium Plus (which use the same seats, that look ver similar to the Air France A380 business class). At least these are designated economy plus by the carriers, as the next class up from economy with distinct seats. The seats are 8 abreast on the 777, 7 abreast on the 787, and have pop up leg rests and something like 30degree recline. The attendant knows your name, you get a nice menu, food is served on ceramic with silverware, you get your own cabin and bathrooms, there is an in-flight snack bar, you get a toiletry kit and noise-canceling headphones and a nice thick blanket and cloth-covered pillow ... all standard business class stuff without the lie-flat bed. I just flew this on Westjet and it was very nice and absolutely equivalent to non-Polaris United business class with the exception of lying flat. Interestingly 'economy' shows up nowhere in the name for these new airline-designated 'economy plus' cabins, so it seems the airlines are positioning this class to be the next business class for cost-conscious corporations while also using official Business class to capture revenue from less cost-conscious ones.

So yes today's business is yesterday's first, and today's premium economy is yesterday's business. And this points out what is obvious but nobody is saying: that today's companies are richer than 15-20 years ago, and the upgrading of business class to first-class standards (with accompanying increases in fare) are basically a way for the airliners to get more revenue from corporate customers, giving employees cover for purchasing to perks (good food, lie-flat beds, etc) that previously was only used by the privately wealthy. Heck I'm sure most bean-counters at large companies happily go along with the firstification of business because they have to travel too and the corporate coffers are full.
 
ITSTours
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:51 pm

Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:03 am

Korean Air has a lot more loyal and deep-pocketed customer base compared to Asiana. They certainly has had F customers.
But those chaebols are now succeeded by their children which are less sensitive to chemeyon (social face), and are more practical. They'll probably stick with C.
So I do think they will certainly reduce the number of fleets with F seats.

How can they achieve it? By naturally retire the older fleets with F seats and bring the newer airplanes without F seats. And they are doing it right now.
20 787-9s and 20 787-10s will not have F seats. Those are replacing 777-200ERs and 777-300s (non-ER) with F seats.

But will they completely eliminate F? I don't think so, in the near future.
When they replace 747-8i and A380 in about 10 years then they might.
 
mzlin
Posts: 107
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 6:32 am

Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:04 am

Aisak wrote:
I think as others have said that New Business is becoming the First class of 20 years ago. The main problem I see is the HUGE gap between those lie flat J seats and the W experience. Economy plus is in no noticeable way becoming the Business of 20 years ago. And it should to complete go full circle.


I'd say it has already come full circle. In my recollection 20 years ago business class was the same seat as economy, just with more pitch. Maybe between 20 to 10 years ago businss got their own slightly wider seats but not lie flat. In the last 10 years nearly everyone has gone to lie flat in long haul for business. I understand Air France on the 380 is one of the holdouts.

Now, in some carriers, the 'economy plus' category is even as good as business class currently is in the Air France A380, e.g. Delta Premium Select and Westjet Premium and United Premium Plus (which use the same seats, that look very similar to the Air France A380 business class). At least these are designated economy plus by the carriers, as the next class up from economy with distinct seats. The seats are 8 abreast on the 777, 7 abreast on the 787, and have pop up leg rests and something like 30degree recline. The attendant knows your name, meals are served on ceramic with silverware, the cabin and bathrooms are just for your class, there is an in-flight snack bar, you get a toiletry kit and noise-canceling headphones and a nice thick blanket and cloth-covered pillow ... all standard business class stuff without the lie-flat bed. I just flew this on Westjet and it was very nice and absolutely equivalent to non-Polaris United business class with the exception of lying flat. Interestingly 'economy' shows up nowhere in the name for these new airline-designated 'economy plus' cabins, so it seems the airlines are positioning this class to be the next business class for cost-conscious corporations while also using official Business class to capture revenue from less cost-conscious ones.

So yes today's business is yesterday's first, and today's premium economy is yesterday's business. And this points out what is obvious but nobody is saying: that today's companies are richer than 15-20 years ago, and the upgrading of business class to first-class standards (with accompanying increases in fare) are basically a way for the airliners to get more revenue from corporate customers, by giving employees cover for purchasing perks that previously were only purchased by the privately wealthy. Heck I'm sure those setting the policies at most large companies happily go along with the firstification of business because they have to travel too and the corporate coffers are full.
Last edited by mzlin on Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
UAUA
Posts: 95
Joined: Wed Mar 06, 2019 10:50 am

Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:10 am

KE and UA were two airlines which offered first class onboard all of its international flights.

They are eliminating first class on certain routes not all. I believe they will still keep first class for certain important key cash cow routes.
My former profile name was United Airline.
 
LJ
Posts: 4771
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 1999 8:28 pm

Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:00 am

FromCDGtoSYD wrote:
I hope they decide to keep F on routes where it hasn't been removed. KE doesn't have the best F product but it has the merit of actually having it. And it was easy to redeem miles for it.


The latter is why they abolish First. No reason to have it just for redemption of FF miles and possible upgrades. If it's easy to redeem miles, than you can be sure it will be removed from that route.

BTW which companies actually allow F class travel for their employees nowadays? In our company (large financial institution) even the CEO isn't allowed to travel F. I hear that many large multinationals have similar policies in place.
 
ITSTours
Posts: 375
Joined: Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:51 pm

Re: KE removing First Class from entire fleet, upgrading business class (DL management at work!?)

Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:20 am

LJ wrote:
FromCDGtoSYD wrote:
I hope they decide to keep F on routes where it hasn't been removed. KE doesn't have the best F product but it has the merit of actually having it. And it was easy to redeem miles for it.


The latter is why they abolish First. No reason to have it just for redemption of FF miles and possible upgrades. If it's easy to redeem miles, than you can be sure it will be removed from that route.

BTW which companies actually allow F class travel for their employees nowadays? In our company (large financial institution) even the CEO isn't allowed to travel F. I hear that many large multinationals have similar policies in place.


Korean Air themselves. Remember the nut rage?
There are indeed many chaebol/chairmen who really stick with KE first.

Also... BTS.
 
hoons90
Posts: 3542
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:49 am

UAUA wrote:
KE and UA were two airlines which offered first class onboard all of its international flights.


By international if you mean long-haul, yes. KE has never offered a first class cabin on international flights operated with 737s.

Swiss is another airline that has a F cabin on all long-haul aircraft.
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
hoons90
Posts: 3542
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2001 10:15 pm

Re: Korean Air drops first-class on 27 routes

Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:54 am

mzlin wrote:
Aisak wrote:
I think as others have said that New Business is becoming the First class of 20 years ago. The main problem I see is the HUGE gap between those lie flat J seats and the W experience. Economy plus is in no noticeable way becoming the Business of 20 years ago. And it should to complete go full circle.


I'd say it has already come full circle. In my recollection 20 years ago business class was the same seat as economy, just with more pitch. Maybe between 20 to 10 years ago businss got their own slightly wider seats but not lie flat. In the last 10 years nearly everyone has gone to lie flat in long haul for business. I understand Air France on the 380 is one of the holdouts.

Now, in some carriers, the 'economy plus' category is even as good as business class currently is in the Air France A380, e.g. Delta Premium Select and Westjet Premium and United Premium Plus (which use the same seats, that look very similar to the Air France A380 business class).


Air France A380 business seats are lie-flat, however they are angled.

There aren't any premium economy products that come even close to that, unless if you count Air Asia X's BizBed product. 170 degrees of recline is vastly different from 130 degrees of recline.
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
 
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Pellegrine
Posts: 2274
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Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:31 am

B777LRF wrote:
Pellegrine wrote:
Such a shame carriers are getting rid of F. I say it has other things to do than with J having flat-beds. You have the proliferation of private jet travel as well.


I don't really think people who are in the market for a 50M jet, willing to pay 15K USD per hour of operation, are very interested in airline travel at all.

The first class cabins these days are, sadly for the airlines, increasingly filled by people who are not paying to sit there; it's staff, mileage redeemers and upgrades from C-class. Can't make a living off that, better to utilise the real estate in a more sensible way.


A few decades ago you didn't have business jets flying 6000-8000nm routes. Also, F being filled by staff/mileage/upgrades is a myth depending on the airline. Look at CX and SQ, I don't see them handing out international first upgrades right and left.

Then you have some people, (like me), who pay for their J and F tickets and don't use status to upgrade when available. (Because I want a confirmed J or F seat, not roll the dice on some upgrade.)
oh boy, here we go!!!
 
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Pellegrine
Posts: 2274
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2007 10:19 am

Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:34 am

And for these people wrongly claiming 'something' has come full circle with W being the J of the past, and J being the F of the past...consider the fares. Full fare international transatlantic/transpacific fares for J are 7-9000 USD. F can be 10, 12, 15, over 20,000 USD. J has a much larger and less private cabin with fewer personal attention. J and F are different.
oh boy, here we go!!!
 
B777LRF
Posts: 2434
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:23 am

Re: Updated: KE is considering removing first class entirely from their fleet

Fri Jun 28, 2019 12:19 pm

Pellegrine wrote:
A few decades ago you didn't have business jets flying 6000-8000nm routes. Also, F being filled by staff/mileage/upgrades is a myth depending on the airline. Look at CX and SQ, I don't see them handing out international first upgrades right and left.

Then you have some people, (like me), who pay for their J and F tickets and don't use status to upgrade when available. (Because I want a confirmed J or F seat, not roll the dice on some upgrade.)


SQ and CX (A-scale) Captains have F-class travel for themselves and their family as part of their contract. Both also oversell Y and J, resulting in upgrades from Y to J and J to F almost every single day.

Then you have some people (like me) who use miles to upgrade whenever possible (because after spending 1/3 of the year on the road, the last thing I want to see is another airport/airline/hotel combo, therefore spend miles on either upgrades or flying FaR down to see me). I think you'll find there are much more of the likes of me than you.

I don't protest the fact there are people (or the companies they represent) willing to spend the money required for a booked F seat. I am, however, arguing it's making ever less financial sense for the airlines to offer such a product, which strongly suggest there are not enough the likes of you out there.
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