When I was studying in Australia on the minutiae of airline management, it was drilled into me that airlines had three levers they could adjust to control their relative profitability: price, product, and capacity.
Norwegian Air Shuttle economy class on a Boeing 737 – Photo: Boeing
It makes sense. Do not get me wrong, this is true – but even then I knew it was a gross over-complication. It only really made sense in the premium cabin, where passengers made their airline selection on a factor other than pricing. Â Airlines don’t actually deal in seats; a seat is kind of a nebulous thing that cannot be quantified easily.
Airlines deal in unit cost and unit revenue. You’ve all probably heard the term CASM (Cost per available seat mile) thrown around, same with RASM (Revenue per available seat mile). Well, when you buy a seat, you are buying capacity on the flight at a specific fare.
It gets worse, because the available seat mile is extremely perishable. It’s gone, forever, once you close the door. Â There are a good deal of complex price discrimination strategies employed by airlines to ensure that their customers never pay less than they ought to – but before I hurt your heads with complex math and graphs, allow me to completely change the tone of my argument.
Singapore’s new Business Class will be tough to beat.
I have been lucky enough to fly quite a few different Business Class products on a variety of airlines over the years.Â Often, those airlines will directly ask me what I thought about their product and question which was my favorite.Â Each and every time, I find a few nice things to say about their product, but ultimately then have to admit that Singapore Airlines’ Business Class product on the Airbus A380 has been my favorite.Â None of the airlines have been insulted – at least I don’t think – because Singapore really does have a top-notch product.
When I learned that Singapore was updating their already impressive product, I was intrigued.Â Recently I was invited, along with Bernie Leighton (a Managing Correspondent for the site, who also holds elite status on all the airline alliances) to check out their first Boeing 777-300ER to feature Singapore’s new interior.Â Our tour took place at the Boeing Everett Delivery Center just hours before the plane was delivered to Singapore Airlines and took off, and I wanted to share both of our thoughts.
We also want to be able to share a bit more than thoughts and photos.Â You have the chance to WIN A SINGAPORE AIRLINES BOEING 777-300ER MODEL.Â Keep on reading to find out how…
Time to take a VIP tour of one of TAM’s Boeing 777-300ERs at Paine Field. Photo: David Parker Brown
Recently, I was invited to take a special tour of one of TAM Airlines’ brand-spanking new Boeing 777s that was parked at Paine Field. The plane was so new that Boeing was still prepping it for delivery. How could I refuse?
The aircraft I toured (PT-MUJ) and was TAM’s fourth 777-300ER, which was delivered on August 29th, 2013. The airline has ordered a total of nine of the type.
The 777 is the first aircraft that TAM has equipped with their new First Class product, and I was excited to check it out.