Facing strong financial headwinds, full-service carrier Jet Airways on Wednesday said it will be stopping free meals on its economy class from bookings done from September 25.
The unbundle plan covers the 'Economy Light' and 'Economy Deal' categories in the domestic sector, the airline said, adding, however, flyers will continue to get free beverages, including tea and coffee.
The airline said following this, its tickets in these two buckets will become cheaper as the cost of meals is inclusive of the ticket fare now.
"From September 25, guests travelling in the Economy and booking 'Light'/'Deal' fares for travel from September 28 on its domestic flights, will not only be able to avail of competitive low fares but have the opportunity to buy meals from a specially curated on-board menu," Jet Airways said, adding complimentary beverages including tea and coffee will be served to all guests in the Economy 'Light'/'Deal' fares"
The move comes two years after the airline introduced 'Fare Choices', a flexible, tier-based, fare-choice system that helped flyers customise their travel needs by choosing their preferred fare.
Raj Sivakumar, senior vice-president for sales & distribution said the decision comes from the fact that guests, especially the millennials, wish to be empowered and exercise their right of choice and globally service models in the airlines' space change every day.
"We understand these changes and endeavour to align our service framework to embrace such needs of various segments of consumers. Our first such measure was the introduction of our Fare Choices concept in 2016. Our latest initiative is a step ahead in terms of flexibility and being receptive to our guests' preference to facilitate greater choice and convenience," he said.
Elaborating further, Belson Coutinho, SVP-marketing, e-commerce & innovations said: "this unbundling will ensure we stay relevant to guests' needs and empower them to choose from fare options that suit them based on their travel needs".
The revised offering under Fare Choices will now allow guests to enjoy more value for money, by letting them choose a travel plan based on their preference, travel requirements and budget, the airline said.
Currently, the Fare Choices in the Economy offers a total of five fare options--'Light', 'Deal', 'Saver', 'Classic' and 'Flex'.
On all domestic flights, all features and benefits, including complimentary meals will continue for the Economy fare options of 'Saver', 'Classic' and 'Flex and for all fare options in premier.
Similarly, all international flyers will continue to get the benefits under first class, premier, and economy.
Jet connects 66 destinations, including in the domestic network and overseas, operating a fleet of 123 aircraft, comprising Boeing 777-300 ERs, Airbus A330-200/300s, Boeing 737 Max 8s, Next Generation Boeing 737s and ATR 72-500/600s.