Austrian Airlines has released details of its new premium economy class, with the first cabin due to be retrofitted to a Boeing 767 on September 6. The introduction of this new travel class represents a €15m (US$18m) investment which will bring experience upgrades over the airline’s standard economy cabins, including more comfortable seats, enhanced IFE, and baggage and catering benefits.
At the heart of the Austrian premium economy experience is a customized PC01 ZIMmagic seat from ZIM Flugsitz, a seat which has been successfully operated by sister airline, Lufthansa. Benefits will include a 38in seat pitch, a 40° recline, 3cm extra seat cushion width, footrests (integrated footrests in the first row), 12in IFE displays, power outlets and USB ports. Every passenger will also enjoy a broad central armrest, which also conceals a fold-out table.
According to Austrian Airlines, 252 of the seats will be installed across 12 aircraft, representing 8% of total fleet seating capacity. All 11 long-haul aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet will gradually be refitted with the new travel class, with a 12th aircraft – due to be acquired by the airline in spring 2018 – to follow. The airline has also indicated – rather vaguely – that each seat will cost the airline as much as the “value of one limousine”, which with an equally rough calculation could be around US$60,000.
Austrian’s premium economy class offer – which can be booked now for flights starting on March 6, 2018 – will also include being able to check-in two pieces of luggage of up to 23kg at no charge, an enhanced dining experience, and a small amenity kit.
“The new premium economy Class is an important milestone in our strategy aimed at linking the issue of individualization with quality. The customer can individually choose the travel class according to her or his needs, whether the preference is to fly in a price-conscious manner in economy class, treat oneself to a little more service and comfort in premium economy, or luxury travel in business class”, stated Austrian Airlines CCO, Andreas Otto.