Etihad Airways to introduce premium economy seats on A380s

 

News Source: Arabian Business

None of the Gulf Big 3 carriers currently offer Premium Economy, but this is set to change soon!

Etihad Airways will be introducing premium economy seats on A380s from December this year. It will also add additional Economy Space seats to its Boeing 777s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners by the end of 2019.

The new seats will feature an increased seat pitch of up to 36 inches, Etihad Airways said.

The new seats will feature an increased seat pitch of up to 36 inches, Etihad Airways said.

It was revealed in July this year that the UAE’s national carrier was planning to introduce premium economy to offer a wider variety of fares, according to Tony Douglas, Etihad Aviation Group CEO.

The initial roll-out will see Etihad Airways' entire fleet of ten Airbus A380 retrofitted with 60 premium economy seats – called Economy Space – bringing the total number of extra legroom seats on each aircraft to 80.

Currently there are 20 extra legroom seats are located beside exit rows and bulkheads, and all 80 will be sold at a ‘premium’ price for passengers requiring extra legroom.

The new seats will feature an increased seat pitch of up to 36 inches, Etihad Airways said.

Etihad B787 Economy Class with extra legroom

Etihad B787 Economy Class with extra legroom

Etihad Airways currently operates its A380s on flights to Sydney, London Heathrow, Paris (Charles De Gaulle) and New York (JFK).

Jamal Ahmed Al Awadhi, Etihad Airways head of Guest Experience, said: “We recognise that no two travellers are alike, and today’s customers demand more choice and personalisation during their travels.

“In response to the popularity and demand for extra legroom seats, we have reconfigured our Economy cabin to allow travellers to enhance their overall travel experience.”

Next year will see more premium economy seats installed on Etihad Airways' other wide-body aircraft, with Economy Space seats added to 12 of the airline's Boeing 777s and all of the its 21 Boeing 787 Dreamliners by the end of 2019.
While we haven't seen the end product in real form yet, it seems to be this is more like a "Economy Plus" seat type instead of a true Premium Economy. It will be interesting to see how the bigger Gulf rival such as Emirates and Qatar Airways react. What are your thoughts?