WTM 2013: Industry executives expect 'no-frills business class' to grow

WTM 2013: Industry executives expect 'no-frills business class' to grow

Industry executives are expecting an increase in the number of airlines offering 'no-frills business class' flight options.

The WTM industry report highlighted no-frills business class as a new trend which has taken off in the Middle East.

The new options offer bigger seats, more leg room, a meal and onboard duty free, while keeping prices low.

It was first introduced by Jazeera Airways and this year Flydubai followed suit.

More than 85% of senior industry executives polled for the report said they believed no-frills business class cabins could be successful in other parts of the world.

The report states: "Europe and Asia are the two regions it is felt are best suited to the new and emerging business model, with 42% and 40% respectively. North America and the UK and Ireland followed on 35% and 29% respectively."

Euromonitor International claims the no-frills business class cabins or full business class flights are a model the UK's low-cost carriers could take on board and embrace.

Feedback from the holidaymakers polled revealed they would be prepared to pay more for the service.

Presenting the findings, BBC journalist Stephen Sackur said the industry predicted the rise of no-frills business class to go global in 2014.

He said: "There is a sense this is something the worldwide industry is going to pick up on. UK holidaymakers seem to want to embrace the no-frills business concept - six out of ten say they would pay extra for it."

John Strickland of JLS Consulting said he wasn't convinced that UK holidaymakers would be prepared to pay as much for the service as suggested. The report suggested holidaymakers would pay up to £350.

This was the fourth annual WTM report, put together after polling 1,000 senior industry executives and 1,000 UK holidaymakers who travelled this year for seven nights or more.

Sackur said: "The overbearing message is that there is a lot optimism around. Despite all the economic difficulties that we see, optimism is returning to the industry.

"In particular there has clearly been an impact here in London and the UK from the Olympic Games and its legacy. There's optimism and signs of it in the aviation industry, emerging travel and tourism markets."

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