Eurowings is to roll out a new paid-for option allowing passengers to keep the middle seat next to them free.

The Lufthansa subsidiary has been trialling the service “over the past few weeks”, and said it has sold over 5,000 free middle seats, without actively promoting the option.

It will now be formally launched next month on all Eurowings routes within Europe, with customers able to purchase the middle seat at Until then the product can be booked via the Eurowings Service Center on +49 180 6 320 320.

The carrier said that keeping the middle seat free will cost from €18 per flight, although no further details have been given on how the price might vary.

Eurowings said that it is the first German airline to launch a free middle seat that can be booked in advance of the flight. It also pointed out that its Biz class fares already include the middle seat being kept free.

Subject to availability, middle seats can be purchased in all seats rows, with the carrier adding that “the free seat will be blocked at the time of booking and is therefore guaranteed not to be given away otherwise”.

Commenting on the news Eurowing’s CEO Jens Bischof said:

“The positive feedback during the test phase showed us very clearly that our guests often want more comfort and distance on board. ‘Ultra-Lowcost’ no longer works since Corona, at least not in our home market Germany. We therefore assume that the free middle seat will become a very important product for travel in the future.”