Airlines Consider Scrapping Business Class For Premium Economy Class: Report

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  • Lufthansa is one of the airlines that is considering replacing business class seats with more “premium economy” seats.
  • Premium economy is much more profitable for airlines than business class, the airlines told Bloomberg.
  • Some airlines are considering phasing out business class altogether, Lufthansa told Bloomberg.

More and more airlines are considering replacing at least some of their business class seats with “premium economy” sections, according to a Bloomberg report.

A division of German airline Lufthansa told the publication it had even received inquiries from other airlines who wanted to do away with business class altogether.

The premium economy, a notch below Business Class, is generally an upgrade from the regular economy, with slightly wider seats and more legroom, and sometimes better food and larger TVs. big. Seats typically take up nearly two-thirds of the space than business class bunks and are up to 10 times cheaper to fit, making them very attractive to airlines, according to the Bloomberg report.

Premium economy class seats are about 40% more cost effective per square meter of aircraft cabin space than business class, Lufthansa told Bloomberg. The airline has premium cabins on each of its 102 long-haul jets and plans to replace some business class seats with more premium seats, she told Bloomberg.

Lufthansa Technik, the airline’s division that focuses on cabin maintenance and repair, told Bloomberg it has received inquiries from other airlines considering cutting business class so it can add premium economy sections. Some Asian airlines are even considering phasing out business class altogether, the company told Bloomberg, without naming the airlines.

According to the Bloomberg report, American, United and Delta – the three largest airlines in the United States – are installing premium economy sections in their widebody jets, which have three aisles of seats.

Emirates unveiled its first premium economy planes earlier this year, complete with legrests and footrests, while Finnair is adding the section to its 27 widebody planes, he told Bloomberg. Carriers including Singapore Airlines and British Airways introduced premium economy sections before the pandemic.

“The investment was an easy decision for us,” Finnair CEO Topi Manner told the publication. “The premium economy is the most profitable real estate on the plane, and the pandemic is strengthening it.”

Lufthansa told the publication that it was initially concerned that Business Class customers might switch to cheaper seats in Premium Economy Class, but that in reality most of the Premium Economy Class customers are people switching from economy class instead.


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