Swiss International Air Lines (Swiss) has unveiled its premium economy class, a new class of travel for the airline, which is due to enter service from Q4 2021 on the carrier’s 12 long-haul Boeing 777-300ERs, with all aircraft due to be fitted with the new seats by the start of the 2022 summer schedules.
The airline has opted for a customised version of the ‘PC02 – ZIMmagic+’ fixed-backshell seat from ZIM Aircraft Seating (recently rebranded from ZIM Flugsitz as part of its insolvency and restructuring plan). This choice marks an upgrade from the premium economy seat on parent airline, Lufthansa and sister carrier, Austrian Airlines, which are flying with the ‘PC01 – ZIMmagic’ model.
Each of the Swiss Boeing 777-300ERs will be equipped with 24 premium economy seats, fitted at the front of the economy cabin, with no dividers to separate the class. The seats have a cradle-style recline within the fixed backshell, so that the seat does not intrude into the personal space of the passenger behind when the passenger reclines.
There may be no separate cabin, but in addition to a deeper recline, the upgrade to premium economy brings advantages over standard economy, including extra seat width (18.1-18.9in / 46-48cm, compared to 17.1in (43.4cm) in economy), an increase in seat pitch from 31in (78.7cm) to 39in (99cm), a fold-out leg rest, personal reading lamps, USB-A sockets, and 15.6in seatback IFE displays. The seat covers have been produced by Lantal, a company based in Bern, Switzerland.
The experience is enhanced with a complimentary amenity kit manufactured using sustainable materials, noise-reducing headphones, a wide range of inflight cuisine, priority boarding, and a baggage allowance of two bags of up to 23kg each (around double that of economy class). Premium economy guests can also download two publications from the airline’s eJournals portal onto their digital device, free of charge.
“We are delighted that, in introducing our new Premium Economy Class, we are meeting our customers’ growing demand for more privacy, more comfort and more individuality,” stated Dieter Vranckx, CEO of the airline. “And by introducing our new class of travel, we are also further strengthening our premium positioning in the growing leisure travel segment.”
A one-way fare for the new Premium Economy Class will be around CHF 250 to 350 (US$270-380) higher than its economy class equivalent. Destinations served by the Swiss Boeing 777-300ERs include Bangkok, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, São Paulo and Singapore. Depending on further developments of the pandemic, the airline says that the new premium economy class may begin operating sooner as a standard product on some of these routes. During the introductory phase, upgrade options are offered for a fee, subject to availability.
A culinary upgrade
The airline has tailored an inflight cuisine offer for its premium economy travellers, who will be offered an elderberry drink when boarding, and can then choose from three hot meals, all served on china tableware. The main meal selection will include a dish from the ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ inflight culinary programme, together with a vegetarian option supplied by Hiltl, the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant.