JSX, the carrier that offers the convenience of private air travel at efficient fares, is studying a new configuration for its Embraer E-145s which would support onboard physical distancing.
An initial prototype was recently revealed on Twitter by travel analyst Henry Harteveldt. As the photos show, seats are blocked for added space. JSX was formerly known as JetSuiteX, thus the reference by Harteveldt.
— Henry Harteveldt (@hharteveldt) August 23, 2020
Seven aircraft in JSX’s 23-strong fleet are E-145s. The remaining jets are E-135s. Asked by Runway Girl Network if the JSX fleet has been reconfigured with the new layout, JSX vice president of marketing Angela Vargo explained:
The E-145 that was on Henry’s twitter is a prototype and we do not currently have plans to roll out broadly (we are in the consideration phase).
We were able to maintain 30 seats in this 1×1 configuration due to the length of the plane vs the E-135.
A number of commercial airlines – Alaska Airlines, Delta, JetBlue and Southwest Airlines – are presently capping capacity by blocking seats on aircraft. So onboard physical distancing precedent has been set by large commercial airlines. Airframers are also offering medevac conversion kits for aircraft. Embraer, for instance, has revealed a medevac offering for its Phenom 300 series of aircraft.
For its part, JSX has implemented new protocols amid the COVID-19 crisis. Under a ‘Simpli-Fly’ initiative, it has increased its aircraft and lounge sterilization throughout the day, initiated touch-free check-in, and is capping capacity at 30 customers on board.
Whether or not it will reconfigure its ERJ-145s to support onboard social distancing remains to be seen.
Operating flights from private terminals, JSX is, meanwhile, expected to launch SmartSky Networks’ air-to-ground (ATG)-based inflight connectivity solution, ensuring its passengers can access broadband Internet. But COVID-19 has slowed the rollout.
“Regarding IFC, this is very much on our radar but, unfortunately, I do not have a hard date for our rollout given the current environment,” explained Vargo.
“I think connectivity will continue to be an important component of the customer experience – if not even more so – given our increased reliance on all things digital. For example, take a day trip, order your groceries online and then pick up on the way home.
“The blurred lines between living an in-person vs online life are only growing in importance.”
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Featured image credited to Juliana Shallcross