MIAMI — American Airlines (AA) has announced today that it will add an International Premium Economy product starting in late 2016, intended to attract passengers willing to pay for amenities such as extra legroom, larger seats, and priority check-in, without the full cost of flying Business Class.
“Travelers want more choice when they fly and have unique preferences depending on each trip. Our customers tell us they want a class of service between Business Class and Main Cabin, and this feedback provided the genesis for our new Premium Economy service,” said Andrew Nocella, American’s chief marketing officer.
American Airlines is the first U.S. carrier to launch an International Premium Economy class. Nevertheless, other carriers offer a similar product such as AA’s oneworld partners British Airways, Japan Airlines and Qantas.
Delta and United Airlines already offer extended legroom economy seating on their flights, just as American Airlines does with its Main Cabin Extra product. However, these products essentially offer a few extra inches of space and in some cases free alcoholic beverages.
“We studied those offerings and developed a world-class product with larger seats, more legroom, improved entertainment and upscale headphones and amenity kits, just to name a few features of this new service. As the world’s largest carrier, we are excited to introduce this product for our customers.” Nocella said.
The new Premium Economy product will be introduced first on American Airlines’ Boeing 787-9s, expected to enter into service in 2016. Also, the product will be installed in the coming Airbus A350 XWB and retrofitted to all 777-300ERs, 777-200ERs, 787-8s and Airbus A330s over the next three years, with the exception of its Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, which are scheduled to retire.