All First Class Cabin

Is it wise to make my airline a First Class only airline? Does it benefit me or make me bankrupt?

The airline is Canada Airlines on croydon world if your wondering.

About 1% of passengers on AS fly in first class. Putting in seats that are only first class severely limits your passenger pool. You could try it and tell us what your experience is, but I don't really think it will work the way you want it to.

You'll have to pick the right routes to operate first class... some routes (a lot of routes) don't have enough first class demand to make it work. Plus, you'll need quite a small plane to operate those flights (a 100 seater in all-Y config, like an An158) to make sure you can fill your flights.

That being said, you could still make an all-F airline work but if I were you I'd throw in some J class seats as well if you're going for a premium airline.

Keep in mind that passengers in AS quite happily downgrade their class of travel should their intended class not be available, but they never upgrade. In other words: While you compete with every single airline out there that offers business class, you will never be able to take even a single passenger away from them (unless that passenger intended to fly first class anyway).

So yeah, it can be doable if you are smart about it, but it´s gonna be quite hard and limited to a few select routes.

I have two small F50's that are equipped with first-class-only seats, and fly some heavy trunk routes where no first class is offered. They depend totally on O/D F-class demand, but that is it. Sometimes they get as few as 5-6 bookings on a major trunk route, but that is enough to make the small turboprop profitable. I would not even try this with a bigger plane.

Keep in mind that passengers in AS quite happily downgrade their class of travel should their intended class not be available, but they never upgrade.

I don't think this is true. I remember a discussion where it was confirmed passengers don't change their class in either direction. I've also had plenty of flights where the business class was full after one demand calculation, but economy wasn't filled after three calculations.

pax do downgrade, but only if there are no alternatives. and there usually are...

Pax only downgrade on single legs of a connection, but only as long at least one leg of the connection has their class available.

And to add to that, if there are no first class flights available from the origin city, or on any other leg of that connection, they will gladly take a "first class" ground transportation to whatever city is within the GT radius, and they will take business class flight from there.

So F class pax from LGW to BOS will take a first class ground transit to LHR and business class to BOS, if there is no connection available with at least one leg in F class between LGW and BOS.

A single class cabin just won't work sustainably in the long run on AS. Because:

One of the key benefits of an all business or first cabin is how it is marketed, and passengers willing to pay that extra bit more for that. AS pax don't take into account how many classes the plane has.

So you are much better off plugging in atleast 20 economy seats because they will fill up.


I’ve seen several airlines using Business and First class only. Typically in smaller regional jets. I experimented with this myself on specific routes and was able to make pretty good margins. The problem I encountered is that there just wasn’t very many viable routes. Generally it is easy to find routes, even between major cities (on my server) that do not have any first class option. However business travel is typically in line with economy and competition for business PAX is high. Many of those routes have low business fares so it often required me to find a route with little or no first class travel and underserved business capacity.

Anyway I hope that helps. As I said, I believe it is possible, you just have a very limited market to work with. Good luck.

I tend to make many experiments with companies established for this purpose. One experiment is Trans Domestic Airlines/Devau and the active fleet operates with a First Class. Types included are the A300/310, DC-9/MD-80/-87 and Boeing 717. Demand for First Class is sluggish but I´ve decided to stick with the configurations selected.

For example, my A300s are configured to seat 266 passengers including a First Class for 26 guests. Some flights justify 26 seats but other flights generate no demand or only 5 to 10 per flight.

The First Class in my narrow body-aircraft have 12 to 14 seats and some routes with MD-88-equipment justify the 14 seats offered in every flight.

Another airline (Sparrow Indonesia) operates one Tupolev 154M in a F12C18Y102-configuration and the First Class is always full but I fear that this has something to do with the trunk route selected.

However these experiments show that my main company Sparrow Air won´t offer First Class due to general lack of demand.