Business Traveller checked out Turkish Airlines' premium economy cabin, Comfort class, which is available thrice weekly on its Boeing B777s serving Hong Kong. By September 13, 2011, these will be found on all of the six weekly flights by September 13, 2011 (see previous news here). This product was first launched on the Istanbul-Beijing route last November.
There are 63 seats in Comfort class with 116cm pitch (versus 96.5cm on Virgin Atlantic’s premium economy) and a 49cm width, which are the most spacious in the industry according to Salih Keçe, general manager, Turkish Airlines Hong Kong, Philippines and Taiwan. "We believe that the new Comfort class is unique and as such we have intentionally created a niche in the market that will further define Turkish Airlines. It will appeal to those that can't afford to fly business but that want more comfort etc on a long flight," he said.
Notable seat features include a retractable leg rest, a 10.6inch (27cm) in-arm touchscreen entertainment system, a tray table that converts to a laptop stand, and USB and iPod ports. It has its own in-flight menu and amenities are the same as in business.
The airline is currently offering a promotional all-inclusive return ticket to Istanbul from Hong Kong for HK$13,586 (US$1,746), while economy class fares are around HK$11,756 (US$1,511) depending on ticketing option. Business tickets are priced at HK$37,830 (US$4,861). Even after the promotion the price difference between economy and comfort class will only be around HK$3,000 (US$385.50) according to Keçe.
Comfort class is also found on flights from Istanbul to Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Keçe said: "The China market is a high priority for the airline."
He added that the food served on the Istanbul leg showcases Turkish cuisine at its best, while the food prepared in Hong Kong is regularly reviewed anonymously by key catering staff.
Turkish Airlines' airport lounge is located at the West hall of Hong Kong airport (close to gate 36), welcoming business class passengers as well Miles and Smiles Gold & Elite members and Star Alliance Gold members.
For more details, visit www.turkishairlines.com