Think of it as a new airline within an airplane. While many airlines in the past have really liked the idea of starting a low cost carrier, El Al has decided to do it on its existing fleet. There will now be a low-cost class of service on European flights on the airline. Though this may sound unique, and I’ve heard some say it is, it’s really what Air Canada pioneered long ago.
El Al is about to face some serious low cost competition into Europe. Air Berlin started serving Israel on July 7 and easyJet starts in November, so El Al is trying to figure out how to compete. The idea was to come up with a low cost carrier but put it on the same airplane as their existing service. The seats are the same, but if you’re in regular coach class, you get frills. If you’re in the low cost coach class, everything else comes for a price. So just to make sure we’re clear, let’s get graphical. This is not what’s happening:
The seats are the same. This is the same type of bundling that Air Canada uses with its fare products. Frontier does it as well now. The cheapest fares get very little in the way of frills and the more expensive fares get more. But since the physical product isn’t any different, it’s not really a new class of service. It’s just fare bundling.
So El Al can call it whatever it wants, but it’s nothing new. It is, however, a good idea because it lets people pick and choose what’s important to them.