Iberia’s New Premium Economy Signals Closer Product Alignment At IAG

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This week saw the announcement of Iberia’s new premium economy product that will be rolled out across 37 of the carrier’s long-haul fleet. Iberia will be the 7th oneworld carrier to introduce a real ‘premium’ economy product, and will mean the carrier can offer a more aligned product with sister carrier British Airways. There is no news on whether other sister airline AerLingus will start to offer premium economy on their long-haul fleet.

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Iberia’s new seats will be installed in time for the summer 2017 season with eight A330-300, 13 A340-600 and on 16 new A350-900’s when the roll out the factory floor.

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Iberia’s stats may not be as impressive as other oneworld carriers, in fact, the seat pitch is 37″, 1″ less than the tradition premium economy standard and seat width is only 1 inch wider than the economy seats, however, these are still a welcome improvement on the long haul flights across Iberia’s network.

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Iberia’s alignment with British Airways actually means that the group will now offer the most premium economy seats across the Atlantic to South America, where British Airways passengers see the greatest synergies.

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Customers flying in Premium Economy class will also enjoy the adjustable head and foot rests, noise-cancelling earphones, and an exclusive amenities kit.In addition, Premium Economy passengers will have priority in boarding and leaving the aircraft, an extra suitcase allowance, upgraded dining options, and other privileges.

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Iberia’s Executive Chairman Luis Gallego explains that “Premium Economy is an initiative included in our Plan de Futuro aimed at increasing revenues. It will give Economy passengers an additional option for greater comfort and extra services on long flights.” Although the first aircraft to offer the product will initially fly to Buenos Aires, Bogota, Lima, and Chicago from Madrid.

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The cabin doesn’t offer the same premium economy innovations that Cathay Pacific have just rolled out on their new A350 cabin. Eager eyes may even see more similarities to BA’s new premium economy seat (it’s the same model!) but the roll-out of this paired back premium economy product matches the emerging product set from IAG with less frills than their competitors, in a drive to achieve better profitability.

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