HomeAirlinesAustrianAustrian Airlines adds more Premium Economy seats to its 777s

Austrian Airlines adds more Premium Economy seats to its 777s

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Austrian Airlines updated its 777 aircraft to include a Premium Economy cabin back in 2018 and now, just 4 years later (keep in mind that for two of those years the travel world was at a standstill), the airline has confirmed that it will increase the size of its Premium Economy cabin by 67%.

Today’s Premium Economy cabins are often described as yesterday’s Business Class cabins and they’re cabins that are becoming increasingly popular with various airlines. Emirates, Finnair, and KLM have all recently added Premium Economy cabins to their fleet and although Qatar Airways and Etihad remain holdouts, we’re rapidly approaching a time when most major long-haul airlines will have a Premium Economy product to offer customers.

Austrian Airlines doesn’t have a large long-haul network and as such, it doesn’t have a big long-haul fleet, but of the nine widebody aircraft that it has, all are equipped with a Premium Economy cabin.

a diagram of a plane
Austrian Airlines 777 seat map showing Business Class & Premium Economy

Starting in early 2023, Austrian will begin to enlarge the Premium Economy cabin on its six 777 aircraft from 24 seats

a screenshot of a calendar
Austrian’s 777 Premium Economy cabin now

to 40 seats:

a screenshot of a computer
Austrian’s 777 Premium Economy cabin in mid-2023

Austrian Airlines says that it expects all 6 of its 777 aircraft to have the enlarged Premium Economy cabin by the end of May 2023 and the newly enlarged cabins are already bookable on the Austrian Airlines website.

With Austrian flying its 777s to Newark, Chicago, and Washington D.C., the enlarged Premium Economy cabin should be good news for travelers looking to use their Miles & More balances to cross the Atlantic in more comfort than Economy Class offers, but this expansion comes at a price to Business Class.

Currently, the Austrian Airlines 777s offers 40 Business Class, 24 Premium Economy Class, and 244 Economy Class seats…

a screenshot of a computer game …but in order to install the extra 16 Premium Economy seats that are on the way, the Business Class cabin is losing 6 seats and the Economy Class cabin is losing its front two rows.

a screenshot of a computer screen

Fewer lie-flat seats is never good news so what travelers are gaining in Premium Economy they’re losing in Business Class and with Austrian also telling us that it will be installing a further 14 Economy Class seats into its 777s (presumably to make up for the loss of the seats in rows 14 and 15), it’s also possible that the Economy Class cabin will be getting a little denser (despite already offering 10-across seating).

Bottom line

Premium Economy cabins are obviously performing very well right now and Austrian Airlines looks like it wants to capitalize on the segment of the market that likes to have more comfort than Economy Class offers without having to pay for Business Class by significantly increasing the size of the Premium Economy cabins on its 777 aircraft.

The retrofitting exercise will begin early next year with all six aircraft expected to have a smaller Business Class cabin and an enlarged Premium Economy cabin by May 2023.

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