Korean carrier Asiana Airlines is set to introduce a new Economy Smartium seat offering on its Airbus A350 flights starting May 15, when it debuts its first A350 aircraft.
According to the airline, its new 311-seat A350s will include 36 Economy Smartium seats offering 3-4 inches (7.5-10cm) additional seat pitch compared with its regular economy seats. Economy Smartium will offer a total seat pitch of 36 inches, though the rest of its seating features remains unchanged from standard economy, with width, recline and screen size all staying the same.
While Economy Smartium offers greater pitch than regular economy seating, the airline is not going so far as to label it as a premium economy offering. Speaking to Business Traveller Asia-Pacific, a spokesperson for the airline said Economy Smartium “can be defined as an upgraded economy class section with extra legroom and some special services”. These include priority boarding, access to the Asiana Business Class Lounge at Incheon International Airport and in-flight amenities – though lounge access and amenities will only be available for long-haul passengers.
Meanwhile, Asiana’s existing Business Smartium class actually offers a different seat product than its standard business class, including fully flat beds and direct aisle access for all seats.
Economy class passengers will be eligible to upgrade to one of the Economy Smartium seats with a one-way surcharge of 30,000 won (US$30) for flights to Japan, China and Northeast Asia, 60,000 won (US$60) for Southeast Asia flights and 150,000 won (US$150) on flights servicing the US, Europe and Oceania. Asiana opened reservations for the new seat class on March 2, 2017.
Asiana will be debuting the Economy Smartium on its daily A350 Osaka flights and six-times-weekly Manila flights starting May 15. These will be followed by San Francisco in August and London in the fourth quarter of 2017. In-flight wifi and smartphone roaming services will also be available.
In related news, Asiana also launched its daily A380 service between Seoul and Frankfurt on Sunday, March 5, replacing the existing 359-seat Boeing 747 that previously operated the route. The A380 will offer 495 seats, with 12 in first, 66 in Business Smartium, and 417 in economy class. Asiana’s A380s notably offer what the company claims are “the world’s widest” monitors at 32 inches in its first class suites.
Details for the route are as follows (all times local):