Premium Economy – The Economy Class Alternative

The aviation business is among the myriads of businesses that have been drastically affected by the pandemic. Having lockdowns implemented in almost all countries across the world and having strict travel bans have caused severe financial losses to most airlines amounting to tens of billions. In an attempt to restore the airlines’ revenues and to curb the transmission of Covid-19 on flights, several airlines are introducing a new class of seats, the premium economy.

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What is the premium economy class?

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A premium economy is an elite form of the economy class. It is estimated to be at least 30% more expensive than the economy class. However, it is still considered cost-effective as it costs 65% less than the business class. A premium economy seat is designed to have additional features to an economy seat to guarantee a more comfortable and luxurious flight that would be much more affordable than a business class seat.

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Features of premium economy

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Compared to economy seats, the premium economy seats are wider and have more legroom. In addition, the premium economy class provides power outlets, larger screens, and more food choices. The premium economy class also has its cabin crew to meet your needs and more importantly, provided that premium economy seats have more legroom, you can have personal space for your privacy and you can also maintain more social distancing amid this pandemic.

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Airlines already offering premium economy

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Credits: Eva Air
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The first-ever airline to introduce the premium economy class was EVA Air in 1992. However, following the emergence of the pandemic and its consequential financial losses, many airlines are following the footsteps of Eva Airlines and have already started launching their premium economy seats on flights. Emirates, for instance, has not only already launched its premium economy class in its Airbus A380, but it has also revealed its plans to install premium economy seats in its 777X planes. Other airlines on track include American, United, and Delta airlines, three of the biggest US airlines.

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Would airlines really benefit from premium economy class?

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Credits: Lufthansa

Lufthansa, which already has premium economy seats on many of its planes, reported that its premium economy class brings back 33% more revenue than the economy class and even 6% more revenue than that of business class, and due to this, Lufthansa has been considering replacing many business class seats by more premium economy seats. Accordingly, it would not be surprising to follow in their footsteps. 

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Now that the premium economy class’s popularity is on the rise, would the premium economy class be an alternative to the economy class in the upcoming years?

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Sources

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