Austrian Airlines has announced plans to expand the number of economy and premium economy seats on its B777 aircraft.

Work will be carried out from early next year to add 16 additional premium economy seats, increasing the cabin’s capacity from 24 to 40 seats.

The aircraft’s economy cabin will also be expanded, with the addition of 14 seats.

The work is expected to be completed by May 2023, and will increase the total capacity across Austrian’s fleet of six B777s by 144 seats.

But what is not detailed in the press release is how the carrier will make space for the additional seating. Business Traveller contacted the airline, and was told:

“The increase in seating capacity is primarily possible because a whole row of the very space-intensive Business Class is being removed and seats in the other much more space-saving booking categories are being added.”

It is understood the number of business class seats on the aircraft will be reduced from 40 to 32.

Austrian said that since its introduction in 2018, the carrier’s premium economy class “has become a product highlight which enjoys increasing popularity among both leisure and business travellers”.

Last year the airline announced plans to expand the premium economy cabin on its remaining B767 aircraft, increasing the number of seats from 18 to 30.

Austrian to expand premium economy cabin on B767s

Commenting on the news Austrian Airlines’ CCO Michael Trestl, said:

“By modifying our long-haul fleet, we are meeting the growing demand for more travel comfort. We look forward to welcome even more guests in our Premium Economy Class.

“In addition to the enlarged Premium Economy Class, the seat capacity of Austrian Airlines’ B777 fleet will be increased by 14 Economy Class seats per aircraft. This will add 144 seats to the total capacity of Austrian Airlines’ long-haul fleet.”