Virgin Australia has dropped business class flights from Albury to Sydney, replacing the two-class Embraer E-190 jets previously on the route with the all-economy Capital Connect style ATR-72 turboprop planes.
In addition to the lack of the big seats up front, the flight -- scheduled for an hour using the faster jets -- is stretched by fifteen minutes using an ATR, local paper The Border Mail reports.
The move frees up the E-190s -- which have new business class seats and the most spacious economy class seats in Virgin's fleet -- for other routes.
The Embraers are best suited to what airlines call "long and thin" routes: the ones with relatively few passengers looking to travel but a decent level of willingness to pay for direct flights rather than having to connect elsewhere, which tend to be strong business traveller destinations.
ATRs are also useful for business traveller routes, but generally on shorter flights where the slower but more efficient turboprops don't add a huge amount to the flight time, especially given the schedule padding at large airports like Sydney to account for wait times there.
Flying to Albury on Virgin's ATR? The best seats on the plane aren't where you'd usually expect to see them!
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