In 2018, the Premium Economy class was introduced at Austrian Airlines. Four years later, the seating category is now also being expanded on the red-white-red airline's largest aircraft type, the Boeing B777.
The Premium Economy Class in the six Austrian B24 aircraft will be expanded from the current 777 seats to 40 seats per aircraft. The conversion of the Boeing machines will begin in spring 2023. By May 2023, all red-white-red B777s will take off in the new seating configuration. In addition to the comfort seat made exclusively for the Lufthansa Group, Premium Economy passengers can check in two pieces of luggage, each weighing up to 23 kilograms, free of charge and enjoy a multi-course menu created by Do&Co on board.
"With the conversion of our long-haul fleet, we are meeting the increasing demand for greater travel comfort and look forward to welcoming even more guests in the Austrian Premium Economy in the future," says Austrian CCO Michael Trestl. In addition to the additional Premium Economy offer, the number of seats in the B777 fleet of Austrian Airlines will be increased by 14 Economy Class seats per aircraft. This increases the total capacity of the Austrian long-haul fleet by 144 seats.
The conversion announced by the AUA also has a downside. The space available in aircraft cabins is limited. In concrete terms, this means that additional seats are in almost all cases at the expense of seat pitch and thus legroom. With around 330 seats in the Boeing 777-200, you get very close to United Airlines, which carries even more passengers domestically with this type of aircraft. At British Airways, too, aircraft intended for leisure traffic can get very crowded.
With the redesign of the Boeing 777-200 cabins, Austrian Airlines will join the ranks of the operators of the most closely seated long-haul aircraft of this type. It can be assumed that this will primarily be felt by travelers in economy class.