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Rumor from RenesPoints blog: Delta could convert some planes to be all D1 Suites

Rumor from RenesPoints blog: Delta could convert some planes to be all D1 Suites

Old May 17, 20, 11:29 am
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Rumor from RenesPoints blog: Delta could convert some planes to be all D1 Suites

https://renespoints.boardingarea.com...all-delta-one/

I subscribe to Renes Points (Chris does most of the posting nowadays) and he wrote a new post today that a reliable source is telling him that DL could convert some planes (Iíd assume widebodys) to be in an all D1 Suite conversion. Personally this seems like a crazy idea to me because the vast majority of paid J come from corporate customers who wonít be traveling for a long time (especially INTL) and I donít see how most of the general public could afford this unless J fares came down substantially. I doubt that this will end up happening but it seems crazy if itís true that DL could even be seriously thinking about this.
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Old May 17, 20, 11:32 am
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It's one way to guarantee social distance.

Could these aircraft be targeted for charters?
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Old May 17, 20, 11:36 am
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I wonder if this would be designed to compete with a Jetblue TATL Mint product (if that's still going to happen, although LGW would probably welcome them given BA/VS vacating)
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Old May 17, 20, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
It's one way to guarantee social distance.

Could these aircraft be targeted for charters?
Perhaps but the biggest users of charters are sports teams which usually wonít be social distancing at all during games and etc so it seems like a moot point to need to social distance onboard. Perhaps this will be a way to make JNB and SYD nonstops flights work on the A350 if they are worried about range with a full load?
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Old May 17, 20, 11:47 am
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That has to be one of the stupidest rumors ever posted by RenesPoints and that is saying something given their history on that blog. Seems like a great way to manufacture some website clicks though.

The only way this happens if if they are redeploying those planes for charter-only usage (except they already have a charter-only config they use with the NBA).

If anything the number of D1 seats will be shrinking in the short-term.
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Old May 17, 20, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
That has to be one of the stupidest rumors ever posted by RenesPoints and that is saying something given their history on that blog. Seems like a great way to manufacture some website clicks though.

The only way this happens if if they are redeploying those planes for charter-only usage (except they already have a charter-only config they use with the NBA).

If anything the number of D1 seats will be shrinking in the short-term.
I agree this is stupid and probably won’t ever happen, but I do have to give Renes Points some credit as they broke the story that the DM MQD waiver was going to happen months before it was officially announced, although they have also posted some fake rumors before as well.
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Old May 17, 20, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by MCO Flyer View Post
Perhaps but the biggest users of charters are sports teams which usually wonít be social distancing at all during games and etc so it seems like a moot point to need to social distance onboard. Perhaps this will be a way to make JNB and SYD nonstops flights work on the A350 if they are worried about range with a full load?
SQ tried the superlonghaul nonstop EWR-SIN with premium cabin only a while ago to avoid range/weight issues and it didn't work.

With lots more D1 seats, DL won't be able to get close to their current fares for the space, so the question is to compare some measure of reasonably optimal yield on an all D1 configuration to what DL was recently getting for a full aircraft with multiple cabins and then adjust for the impact of COVID-19, remembering that with no more 777s, cargo capacity will be lower.

We can calculate the floor space of a DS1 suite versus PS/C+/coach seating and then adjust for the weight difference assigned to a passenger (plus luggage) becoming available for cargo (or fuel savings on these ultra long haul routes, including the cost of carrying the weight of the fuel), but yield/revenue management projections right now would just be speculation.
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Old May 17, 20, 2:09 pm
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Why is this stupid? What are the economics of this? At what price point does this start to make sense?
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Old May 17, 20, 3:03 pm
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Originally Posted by pfreet View Post
Why is this stupid? What are the economics of this? At what price point does this start to make sense?
D1 (or any premium cabin on any airline) is largely paid for by corporate travelers (business travelers on paid J/F, celebrities on paid J/F on promo junkets, etc.) who are willing to pay for $8k-15k last minute tickets. Or as the case with the charter jets again it's the NBA teams who pay for their players to travel on the custom charter configs.

Personal travelers who can afford that from their own dime are likely flying private or taking a 1x a year trip (and just because they can afford it doesn't mean they pay the $10k-15k unless it's an emergency, many with wealth are very frugal and look for the J/F deal and likely are looking to spend more in the $3k-5k range).

Corporate travel is the only way to make the economics of an all-J/F plane work and even then it rarely works.

The only all J/F planes that have worked in the past decade:

1) BA had the Barclays Shuttle (JFK - LCY) on the A318 but they are killing it permanently
2) La Compagnie has had some success but they only just got lie-flats and only charge around $2k/RT which is way too low a price for a legacy carrier like DL to make any money

That's it. I believe during better times SAS tried a direct SVG - IAH flight (with all J) to capture the oil traders but that flight went bust after less than a year when the oil market collapsed.

Bottom line there is no J/F market without big business and until/unless big business starts paying for travel again because no one else is willing to fork over $8k-15k on a regular basis for last minute, can't miss meetings / business deals / etc.
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Old May 17, 20, 3:22 pm
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In 2012 I flew on an SQ A340 that had only 100 J seats. It was awesome, but discontinued not long after. I suspect that if a company running some extreme long hauls needed to go with a mix of J and PE (SQ on their A350), the economics for Delta wouldn't be more favorable.

I wonder sometimes if airlines works with bloggers to use a rumor story to gauge interest and get more targeted feedback than polling can do.
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Old May 17, 20, 3:22 pm
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There were other all J from Privatair on behalf of Swiss, Lufthansa, KLM...

DUS-EWR, ZRH-EWR, AMS-IAH, MUC-EWR, DUS-ORD at various times in the 2000s

https://www.ft.com/content/e039d10c-...e-00000e2511c8

They went insolvent in 2018 but did survive the 2008 crisis - did more Europe-Africa/South Asia ops after that. Might be less of an indictment of small scale all biz class operations than the carriers that contracted them finding demand suitable for normal service

Fascinating rumor but it might apply to just one or two airframes if it has any truth to it at all
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Old May 17, 20, 11:49 pm
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What a laugh. Never ever going to happen. Did the rumour include a shower?
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Old May 18, 20, 4:07 am
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Is it really mad? Good luck trying to buy an insurance policy to protect your staff (and your business from legal action by staff) if they caught something whilst flying in a full coach cabin due to corporate penny pinching. For those companies who can afford it, 'all J' services will be a lot more attractive.
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Old May 18, 20, 7:09 am
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Business class-only flight for JFK-LHR would not surprise me, but I can't see DL doing this on any of its current TATL routes unless it or a revenue-sharing JV partner has economy class seats available on the same route too.
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Old May 18, 20, 11:58 am
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In March I flew ATL-PDX-ATL and they had lie flat seats (not typical for this route). I'm sure it was for social distancing purposes. And the economics could have changed, given that DL now has extra planes and extra gates they won't be using until traffic gets back to where it was. Still, this is squarely in the category of "rumor."
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