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KQ to introduce special economy class on Dreamliners

A KQ Boeing Dreamliner at the JKIA, Nairobi. FILE photo | nmg
A KQ Boeing Dreamliner at the JKIA, Nairobi. FILE photo | nmg 

Kenya Airways #ticker:KQ is set to introduce a more spacious but higher-priced Economy class on its nine Dreamliner aircraft in a bid to grow its revenues.

The national carrier, known as KQ by its international code, says it will increase the recline angle and legroom on 27 seats currently assigned to Economy class and charge up to Sh10,200 more for the convenience.

KQ made the announcement Wednesday when reporting that its revenue for the nine months to December stood at Sh80.8 billion and that its net loss for the period was Sh6.1 billion.

“Any time one of the aircraft is grounded for an extended period, we shall make the necessary adjustments to the first three rows in Economy,” said Vincent Coste, KQ’s chief commercial officer. “Customers can book these seats for between $50 and $100 depending on the season and length of the flight.”

Airlines have over the years increasingly paid more attention to business class customers who pay significantly higher than their fellow passengers on the same trip.

Offerings such as bars and lie-flat beds aimed at increasing the cabin space for this special set of passengers have, inevitably, disenfranchised those who sit in Economy class.

KQ is now looking to book extra “ancillary revenue” from this new offering which it says has proved successful including among its partner airlines such as KLM and Air France.

Dreamliners are the commonly used aircraft on long-haul routes such as Europe and the upcoming one to New York hence KQ’s decision to retrofit for extra comfort to woe customers. This aircraft has 30 seats in Premier World (Business class) and 204 in Economy.

At the moment, the airline charges between Sh3,100 and Sh11,780 for passengers in need of seats with extra legroom, with the cost varying depending on the length of the flight and your loyalty programme ranking.

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