Simple Flying is preparing to take the next step in establishing itself in the aviation industry. On April 1st, 2023, the company hopes to begin scheduled commercial flights under the Simple Flying brand. The airline, to be known as “Simple Flights,” will initially be based in the New York area, focusing on high-demand shuttle services.
Simple Flying was launched in the summer of 2018. In the past few years, the website has been working to increase its presence in the aviation industry with the goal of providing a one-stop hub for all the key stories on commercial aviation, sharing the news in a simple, accessible way. The next natural step is to move into the space we report about.
Operating short-haul flights, it seems natural to use a narrowbody aircraft. With this in mind, we will initially launch the airline Simple Flights with a wet-leased Airbus A320 (pictured at the top of this article). This will allow flights to get underway before obtaining an Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and mean that the airline doesn’t need to face the high cost of leasing aircraft. With the arrival of each new Airbus A320, the airline will add another shuttle service (more details below).
The Airbus A350 will eventually operate as a bus service between shuttle cities. Photo: Simple Flying
As the company continues to grow, it will look to supplement the Airbus A320 with the delivery of an Airbus A350. The Airbus A350 will be used to link up the different shuttle services. This will allow passengers to seamlessly connect between any point on the Simple Flight network with a maximum of two connections. In the future, the airline also hopes to purchase the hotly anticipated Airbus A360 once released by the manufacturer.
Simple Flight plans to offer a three-class cabin configuration on its aircraft, accommodating the needs of all passengers while keeping prices as low as possible. At the front of the cabin, passengers will find the business class cabin, known as Lounger Land. Each customer will find a lie-flat lounger complete with a soft mattress to help passengers fall asleep on even the most turbulent rides. These lie-flat loungers have a generous pitch of 80-inches, while the width clocks in at 22.5-inches and sits on an imitation grass carpet. On the Airbus A320, Lounger Land will comprise one row of 1-1, while the Airbus A350 will feature five rows of 1-2-1.
The premium economy cabin will be known as “Blue Seat Class”, with the fabric of the seats matching the signature Simple Flying sky blue. These seats have 34-inches of pitch and 19-inches of width. Due to the unique design of the seats, each passenger can place a small item below their own chair. On the Airbus A320, these seats will be placed in a 2-2 layout, while the Airbus A350 will have a 2-2-2 configuration.
At the rear of the aircraft, passengers will find bench class. Pending regulatory approval, Simple Flying intends to replace the standard aircraft seat with rows of benches. 50 inches of the bench would be shared by three people, giving each passenger 16.666666-inches of width. The seats may look tightly packed, and they are. Each has 22.5 inches of pitch, though this presents few problems with the absence of seatbacks.
Full cabin concept. Photo: Simple Flying
As mentioned above, Simple Flight will take a two-pronged approach to its flight operations. The airline will initially operate shuttle flights, connecting airports located across cities. In order of launch, the routes will be,
- Newark (EWR) to New York (JFK)
- London Gatwick (LGW) to London Heathrow (LHR)
- Tokyo Haneda (HND) to Tokyo Narita (NRT)
The idea behind the routes is to allow passengers to connect between airports without leaving the airport environment. Each country served will eventually operate as a local subsidiary to enable the routes to be performed without 9th freedom rights. Once they come online, the Airbus A350s will supplement the domestic connections. These aircraft will fly LHR-JFK-LHR-NRT-LHR, operating as a milk run service so that passengers can remain on the flight between New York and Tokyo.
Thanks to Simple Flying’s extensive back catalog of content, passengers flying with Simple Flight will have access to countless hours of in-flight entertainment. Those wishing to entertain their eyes with moving pictures will have access to Simple Flying’s extensive catalog of video content. Passengers can learn about the Boeing 777X’s folding wingtips or tune into a rerun of one of the website’s webinars.
The Simple Flying website will be hosted on an intranet available through a local WiFi network. Meanwhile, the podcast, hosted by Tom and Jo, will also be available for those who wish to give their eyes a rest. A dedicated crew member will update all three forms of entertainment each time the aircraft turns around at an airport. Over time, exclusive content will be developed specifically for the airline’s passengers.
Frequent Flyer scheme
Alongside the airline, Simple Flying also plans to launch a frequent flyer scheme known as “Simple Flyers”. The airline also intends to simplify the frequent flyer scheme model. Points (known as windows) will be awarded as follows,
|Simple Flight||Bench Class||Blue Seat Class||Lounger Land|
|JFK-LHR||35||52-53 (dependant on the wind direction)||70|
|LHR-NRT||60||110 (even number of passengers) 70 (odd number of passengers)||120|
There will be three tiers of status based on points collected in a year:
- Sky Blue (0+ windows)
- Coral Red (480+ windows)
- Teal (1440+ windows)
The status will last for a year, though status windows will last for a rolling period of a year to avoid the need to do points runs. While the windows will expire after 365.1423 days from a status point of view, they will remain active for life from a rewards windows point of view. Every 1,000 windows, passengers will be eligible for a half-price long-haul flight or a free city connection in Blue Seat Class.
Are you excited to fly with Simple Flight? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!
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