Etihad Airways is set to introduce premium economy seats on all of its Airbus A380 aircraft from December this year, with plans to introduce the extra space seating on its Boeing 777s and 787 Dreamliners next year.
It was revealed in July this year that the UAE’s national carrier was planning to introduce a premium economy to offer a wider variety of fares, according to Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group CEO.
The initial roll-out will see Etihad Airways' entire fleet of ten Airbus A380 retrofitted with 60 premium economy seats – called Economy Space – bringing the total number of extra legroom seats on each aircraft to 80.
Currently, there are 20 extra legroom seats are located beside exit rows and bulkheads, and all 80 will be sold at a ‘premium’ price for passengers requiring extra legroom.
The new seats will feature an increased seat pitch of up to 36 inches, Etihad Airways said.
Etihad Airways currently operates its A380s on flights to Sydney, London Heathrow, Paris (Charles De Gaulle) and New York (JFK).
Jamal Ahmed Al Awadhi, Etihad Airways head of Guest Experience, said: “We recognise that no two travellers are alike, and today’s customers demand more choice and personalisation during their travels.
“In response to the popularity and demand for extra legroom seats, we have reconfigured our Economy cabin to allow travellers to enhance their overall travel experience.”
Next year will see more premium economy seats installed on Etihad Airways' other wide-body aircraft, with Economy Space seats added to 12 of the airline's Boeing 777s and all of its 21 Boeing 787 Dreamliners by the end of 2019.
The complete retrofit programme will increase the total number of extra legroom seats by 560%, the airline said.
“While many airlines have been squeezing more seats into economy class, we continue to focus on providing our guests with exceptional products and services that meet and exceed the demands and budgets of different types of travellers,” Al Awadhi added.
Economy Space comes in addition to Etihad Airways’ existing ancillary products, including the Neighbour-free seating option in Economy and a range of ‘buy-on-board’ products.
Source: Arabian Business