Austrian has announced that their first 767 slated for the upgrade to a Premium Economy cabin is now in the shop and the update has begun. At the same time, Austrian has now opened Premium Economy booking for all of their long haul flights scheduled for March 6, 2018 and onward.
The seat is identical to the one found aboard Lufthansa long haul birds except that the seat colors match the Austrian cabin decor.
As with the current product found aboard LH, the Austrian Premium Economy experience will be nearly identical as far as seat pitch, baggage allowance, and dining is concerned:
- Increased seat ‘pitch’ as compare to Economy
- Foot rests
- Amenity Kit
- Fold old tables with dedicated arm-rests
- 12 inch IFE screen
- One standard and one USB power port
- Checked baggage allowance of 2 pieces at 23kg (50 lbs) each
- Enhanced dining options
- Welcome aboard drink
In all, 12 aircraft will be retrofitted between now and March 2018. Once the €15 million retrofit is complete, Austrian will offer a total of 252 Premium Economy seats on their long haul 767 and 777 aircraft.
I suspect during the next few months (until March 2018) while the upgrades are taking place, Economy Class passengers will be offered low-cost or free upgrades to Premium Economy seats. Miles & More Senators & HON Circle members may receive complimentary upgrades as well. This will be take place on a flight by flight basis while the fleet is being upgraded. At least this is what happened while LH was going through the process of upgrading their fleet.
Brussels Airlines has announced plans to retire the majority of their existing A330 aircraft and replace them with brand new A330s as it seeks to update its fleet. According to their strategy, 7 of their 10 A330s will be swapped for new ones during 2018 and 2019.
What makes this an even bigger deal is the fact that along with the new aircraft,’SN’ will introduce an entirely new cabin interior. Business Class, Economy Privilege, and Economy will all receive substantial facelifts.
Though specifics have not yet been decided upon, I suspect the new cabin interiors will be in line with the new cabins that will be introduced by Lufthansa, SWISS, and Austrian beginning in 2018. LH Group had previously stated that they have the desire to create a standardized cabin across the Group’s airlines. With Brussels now being a wholly owned division of LH Group, it stands to reason that Brussels Airlines will benefit from the strategy.
I look forward to seeing what ‘SN’ comes up with when the new birds begin joining the fleet. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing their wonderful Business Class product and am curious how they’ll make it even better!
Lufthansa has launched a Premium Economy sale for early summer travel for flights departing Germany.
Delhi and Dubai lead the way with Prem-Eco fares as low as €820. Most of Lufthansa’s US and Canadian destinations can be booked between €1000 and €1300, however New York can be booked for about €850 .
Beijing, Tokyo, and most of Asia is also attractive with fares ranging between €1100 and €1300.
African destinations can be reached for as little as €800 for Nairobi, €1200 for Johannesburg, or €1400 for Capetown. South American fares range between €1200 and €1500.
The fares are valid for travel between now and June 30, 2017.