MIAMI – Pieter Elbers, CEO of KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL), confirmed the belated introduction of a Premium Economy cabin on its long-haul fleet within a year. The announcement came yesterday at the company’s presentation of its annual figures.

KL had been resting in its laurels when it came to a Premium Economy offering, considering that Air France, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Eva Air have been introducing their respective Premium Economy products for the past three decades.

From Economy Comfort to Premium Economy


KL currently offers Economy Comfort seats on its intercontinental flights. Located between Business and Economy Class, the seats have the same service as the regular seats of the latter but provide more legroom and more recline.

The 38 seats in KLM’s Economy Comfort Class with 35” width and 17.5” pitch are located in their own intimate 3-3-3 cabin. (Credits: Author)

KL’s current Economy Comfort product features 10 cm (4 inches) more legroom plus 4-5 cm (1.5-2 inch) more recline than regular Economy, a 9-11 inch personal entertainment screen, and in-seat power on all flights (except in Boeing 747).

How KL’s Premium Economy product will differ from its Economy Comfort one is a mystery, though.

Without giving further details about the new features of the product, Elbers said via luchtvaartnieuws.nl, “If KLM does not have [Premium Economy], then you have product differences that you would rather not want for the customer.”

“Drawings must be made, certification started, things ordered, and a supplier must be chosen,” listed Elbers.

A classic Premium Economy cabin configuration

“At the moment, things like the coronavirus demand extra attention from us. But once you take a serious look at implementing such a class, you won’t take many years to do it,” added the CEO.

As the saying goes, better late than never KLM. We have a year to wait for the class, at least that’s the take from yesterday’s announcement.


Article written by Helwing Villamizar

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