Is the death knell sounding for long-haul first class?
Commenting on the narrowing gap between business and first class, David says: “High-quality, flat-bed business products have become more ubiquitous among long-haul carriers, resulting in a differential product quality that may not be as stark as it was before. For certain routes and markets there is only a limited number of people with the budget to justify the exceptional service offered in first class.”
When talking about the increasing difficulty to justify spend on first class, David notes: “The pandemic and current economic climate are playing into the decision processes of both individual and corporate buyers.”
Adding: “This shouldn’t be a problem for executives, given the work airlines such as Virgin Atlantic and KLM have put into enhancing their business class offering.”
David goes on to say: “If more airlines that offer first class can recreate the ‘executive jet experience’, the more likely they are to get a portion of significant figureheads and high-profile individuals back on scheduled flights.”
He concludes: “The glamour and convenience of walking off your own private jet now comes with greater PR risk for individuals concerned about their public image, so an elevated first-class experience could be the answer.”