As first tipped by Australian Business Traveller, American Airlines will launch a full premium economy service on international flights starting in late 2016 – click here for full details.
PREVIOUS | American Airlines and Malaysia Airlines could both launch premium economy class next year, although Oneworld partner Qatar Airways has ruled out adopting better-than-economy seating.
Premium economy is proving increasingly popular with a range of passengers, including self-employed business travellers on a tight budget as well as regular business class travellers who cash in their hard-earned points for an annual family holiday.
"We’re looking at it," American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told Australian Business Traveller earlier this month, after a pause to carefully choose his words. "We think there’s a lot of opportunity there."
Malaysia Airlines is also mulling this middle ground and expects to make a decision early next year, which could see a small premium economy cabin added to its fleet of Airbus A330s at the same time as new lie-flat business class seats (below) are fitted.
"We are very happy with business class demand, and this gives us the opportunity to increase the revenue per passenger in the economy class" says airline CEO Christoph Mueller.
"The target passenger is in economy class, and you don't want to cannibalise the business class."
But Qatar Airways says you won't see premium economy anywhere on its fleet.
"We won’t roll out premium economy" affirms CEO Akbar Al Baker in an interview with Forbes.
"I don’t think there is any room for premium economy in our region" Al Baker says, adding that in the airline's current economy cabin "we give you a premium economy seat with an economy class price."
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