Delta to introduce premium economy

3 May 2016 by Clement Huang

Delta Air Lines’ newly appointed chief executive Ed Bastian has announced that the carrier will launch an international premium economy product in 2017.

While premium economy is fairly established in the Asian market, the concept is still fairly new in the US. Last year, American Airlines became the first of the “Big Three” US carriers to step into the premium economy space (see here) and will launch the product later this year. 

According to Forbes, Delta will introduce premium economy when it takes delivery of its first A350 in the spring of 2017. The new cabin class will be progressively rolled out onto the carrier’s international B777 fleet, as well as its A330-200s and B767-400s. 

While Delta does not currently have premium economy, its does offer a “preferred economy” type product – essentially normal economy seats with extra legroom. Premium economy will be an entirely new cabin class, with enhanced in-flight standards over coach. 

“When you look at the international stage, the international competition has moved to premium economy as a cabin and service and product of itself,” said Bastian. 

“While we have made substantial enhancements to the front of the airplane in terms of business class, we’ve actually created a greater divide between business and [economy], which has been a little bit of a void and a vacuum in the middle for that premium economy passenger.

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Clement Huang

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