Business Class seat comfort based airline competition and supply chain impact

An article in Bloombergbusinessweek (Dec 19,2011) describes airline competition to attract business class passengers, who pay 3 to 10 times the economy fare, are 15 % of the seats but 50% of the flight revenue.Business class seats, with new features, are at the center of this competition, and, at 300 lbs, are three times the weight of economy class. This customization of seats by airline has three impacts (a) increased weight which decreases fuel efficiency, (b) increased testing to satisfy airworthiness which takes a three year seat design time and (c) delays due to specialized wiring, which creates production delivery delays. Should airplane manufacturers force seat standards to improve operational and cost performance ? Should suppliers offer features as options installed after airplane delivery ? Given the costs to serve business class passengers, do they really contribute to 50% of the profits too?

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About aviyer2010

Professor
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