There’s a saying in business: adapt or die.
Scandinavian airline, SAS is adapting to fierce competition from budget airlines by dropping its business class on European flights.
The flag carrier of Denmark, Norway and Sweden will offer all-economy cabins and two fare bundles: SAS Go, which includes a checked bag, a tea or coffee on board and mobile check in and SAS Plus, a higher fare which includes two checked bags, lounge access, early boarding and extra air miles.
Those paying the lower SAS Go fare will have to pull out their wallets on board for anything other than a tea or coffee.
SAS Plus passengers, who will most likely be seated towards the front of the cabin, won’t have to pay for food or drink.
The airline’s trolley service will be a more casual affair. Instead of handing out hot meals on trays (three courses in business class), cabin crew will come round with a trolley of snacks, hot wraps and salads.
SAS said the all-economy seating and two different service levels taps into a wider trend of people looking for cost and efficiency over comfort on short-haul flights:
“It will meet the increasing demand for smoother and more time-efficient journeys for leisure and business travellers,” the airline said in a statement.
SAS will also be able to fill up every seat on the plane – a radical departure from the airline’s policy of leaving the middle seat empty for business travellers to give them more space.
The new fares, which haven’t yet been set, will be introduced in June.
The changes won’t affect SAS’s long-haul flights, although other cut backs have been made in economy class.
Last year the airline announced that it would charge economy passengers for drinks that aren’t given with a meal on long-haul flights.
The cut backs are part of SAS’s plan to turn its operations around, which has included job losses and restructuring.