This week saw the announcement of Austrian Airlines’s new Premium Economy cabin product. Starting right now, passengers can book a seat in the new travel class for flights starting on March 6, 2018. While nothing particularly groundbreaking, the centrepiece of the new Premium Economy Class is the new seat ZIM seat providing passengers with more comfort on their journey compared to regular Economy Class seats.
The first Boeing 767 has already started its retrofit and will be progressively rolled out. All eleven long-haul aircraft in the Austrian Airlines fleet will gradually be refitted to include the new travel class. The twelfth long-haul aircraft to be acquired by Austrian Airlines in the spring of 2018 will also be equipped with Premium Economy.
The Premium Economy seat may look familiar, partly because it is the same seat found across the Lufthansa Group – most likely appearing on Swiss as well next year. The seat offers the industry standard 38″ seat pitch and the new travel class doesn’t go far beyond the hard product. While Additional footrests take the strain off the legs on a long flight (the fold out ones are only found on the front row), the central armrest features a fold-out table between the seats and in addition, every seat is equipped with its own power outlet and USB port.
But regarding the soft product, passengers can enjoy larger IFE screen, increased luggage, an amenity kit and a premium dining option compared to economy (not an entirely separate menu) but the ground product doesn’t apparently differ. There has been no mention of priority boarding or check in and unlike certain carriers there certainly is no lounge access.
“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”, says Austrian Airlines CCO Andreas Otto.