It you study the passengers boarding your typical flight to just about any destination, you will find tourists, holidaying families – both young and old, retirees, solo travellers and business people. However on some new international services, the majority of people boarding will be juggling laptops, briefcases and deadlines. The reason? The growing number of 'all business class' flights. Of course, anyone who wants the comfort of flying business class can travel on these flights, however airlines are clearly targeting the regular global business traveller with the launch of these new corporate services.
While all business class services have been trialled in the past with mixed results, the increasingly global marketplace and resulting boom in people travelling for business seems to indicate that they are here to stay. So far however, airlines are firmly staying with a limited number of flights on the most popular business routes. Some of these include all business class services from London to New York, Hong Kong to London, Qatar to London, Singapore to Newark (NY), Singapore to LA and Washington to Paris.
With a number of the specially fitted out aircraft operating on these routes having just 32 seats, as in the case of the British Airways London to New York route, there are many benefits for travellers. With fewer passengers, boarding and disembarkation is faster and more streamlined. The inflight service is more attentive, there are quality entertainment systems, gourmet meals, power sockets for laptops and onboard mobile device and internet connectivity. The seating is also more spacious with some aircraft including fully flat beds and extra room to both work and relax.
The flights offer an experience that is an extension of the business class lounge at the airport, with everything the business traveller needs to arrive at their destination fresh and relaxed. It is clear the loyalty of these high volume business travellers is critical to carriers chasing a larger share of the corporate market, and as a result they're keen to show innovation and to offer a superior service with a point of difference.