Lufthansa has unveilled its all-new premium economy seats, with first flights featuring the extra-wide and extra-legroom seats in November on its Boeing 747-8I jets.
A premium economy cabin will be fitted across Lufthansa's entire long-range international fleet by the end of 2015, Lufthansa says, and represent around 10% of the total seating on each aircraft.
The German carrier's Airbus A340 and A330 fleet will be next in line for premium economy, with the flagship Airbus A380s last on the list.
But back to the seats themselves...
Lufthansa's new premium economy seats were were designed in partnership with Müller/Romca Industrial Design and produced by German seat manufacturer ZIM Flugsitz.
Travellers will enjoy 38 inches (97 cm) seat pitch, with the premium economy seats up to 1.2 inches (3cm) wider than the airline's standard economy seats, which are among the tightest squeeze of the world's full-service airlines.
A padded front legrest is built into the first row of seats in Lufthansa's premium economy cabin, while everybody else has to do with a simpler metal footrest which swings down from the seat in front of them.
Seatback screens are 11-12 inches (28-30cm), which Lufthansa says is "at least 2 inches" larger than their economy counterparts.
The premium economy seats on the Boeing 747-8I are arrayed in a 2-3-2 or 2-4-2 layout (depending on the aircraft in which they'll be installed) compared to the tighter 3-4-3 of the main economy section.
But don't expect a dedicated cabin – only a few dividers hanging from the ceiling denote your 'premium' status.
A centre console between the seats with an own wide armrest for each passenger provides greater privacy as well as approximately 4 inches (10cm) more room at the side.
"As a result, passengers have around one-and-a-half times as much room as Economy Class" Lufthansa says.
There's also more recline and a greater range of adjustment for the headrest.
Each seat gets its own AC laptop power socket.
Creature comforts on the service side of the equation will include one additional checked bag up to 23kg, meals served on china and an amenity kit.
For an additional €25 (A$38) premium economy passengers can use the Lufthansa business lounge before their departure.
Pricing remains a crucial part of the premium economy recipe, with tickets expected to average €600 (A$920) over standard economy rates for an international return journey from Germany to North America or Asia.
The German juggernaut has long resisted adding premium economy into it's three-class mix, sharing the same concerns of major airlines such as Emirates, Etihad and Singapore Airlines that this 'in-between' category would dilute the profitable bookings made for business class.
But many other airlines – including Qantas, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Cathay Pacific and Virgin Atlantic – have found premium economy to be an appealing upgrade from economy as well as a useful product for attracting cash-constrained business travellers in the post-GFC world.
With that in mind, Lufthansa has finally bitten the premium economy bullet. “We are introducing a fourth class now because our customers want it" says Lufthansa CEO Christoph Franz.
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