AUSTRIAN announced several major initiatives under yet another new plan, this time referred to as ‘Next Level Austrian’……

Beginning with the Summer 2018 timetable, Austrian will offer Premium Economy seating aboard their 777 and 767 long-haul aircraft.   The retrofits will begin in the Winter of 2017 and should be completed by the end of Summer 2018.   The seats will be similar to what we already see in Lufthansa’s Premium Economy.    With the new seat will come improved leg room, better recline angles, and enhanced dining as compared to Economy.   The 767 will have 18 Premium Economy seats installed and the 777 will have 24 Premium Economy Seats on board.

This comes at the expense of both Business and Economy seats:  To make room for the Premium Economy cabin, Business and Economy class will both have a reduction in the number of overall seats.   According to Austrian, the pricing will fall in between Economy and Business fares.    I expect this to be very much like the Lufthansa Premium Economy product which has been very successful for the airline.

WiFi!

As part of the same announcement, OS has also indicated that their aircraft will begin an upgrade process that will see the installation of WiFi throughout the entire fleet.   The first aircraft will be have Wifi available for passengers by mid-December of this year and the entire fleet will have connectivity by Summer 2017.

With the broadband system, passengers will be able to use their smart devices for any internet-based purpose including live streaming, email, etc.   Per the existing policy using the service for phone calls will still not be allowed.    Pricing is yet to be determined.