Two top carriers push premium economy
Air France and Air New Zealand have announced major developments relating to their premium economy service offerings.
This week ANZ has begun returning to service eight newly reconfigured Boeing 777-300ERs fitted with twice as many premium economy seats. The French national carrier has revealed details of the new offering to be made available on its Airbus A330s and A340s and Boeing 777s from the beginning of the third quarter of the year.
Described as “business-lite rather than economy-plus” by one leading travel writer, Air New Zealand’s premium economy has from its inception in 2005 included nine inches of seat recline and additional legroom. The new 777 configuration, with 36 seats compared with the original 18, brings a further increase in seat pitch, from 38in to 41in, and a new self-service bar area.
The new 777-200ER layout comprises 26 business-class seats, 36 premium economy and 242 economy. The change represents ANZ’s third premium economy capacity increase in two years – the carrier has also twice expanded the offering on its Boeing 747-400s, which now have 39 premium economy seats.
Air New Zealand introduced the 777-200ER into its fleet nearly four years ago and operates the type on its routes from Auckland to Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing and Los Angeles.
Air France’s new Premium Voyageur centres on a 19in-wide, 123-degree-recline seat set at 38in pitch. Amenities include a 10.6in screen for the AVOD inflight entertainment, a power outlet, an extendable tray-table and a footrest. IFE will be delivered by Rockwell Collins hardware on the A330s, A340s and 777s.
The new offering will also be implemented in the carrier’s Airbus A380s (with Thales TopSeries IFE) and ten new two-class Boeing 777-300ERs (Panasonic eX2).