Delta to Launch International Premium Economy in 2017
MIAMI — Delta Air Lines announced the debut of a new international premium economy product, to be launched together with the Delta One suites in the carrier’s Airbus A350-900, starting in fall 2017.
Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer has said that the new international premium economy product is the result of “paying careful attention to what customers tell us they want and responding with unique products designed to meet their individual needs.”
The launch of Delta Premium is part of an intense competition between the ‘U.S. Big Three’ (American, Delta and United), intended to attract international travelers willing to pay more for a higher level of service.
American Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to launch an international premium economy service, with the introduction to its fleet of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The carrier expects to launch the service set to roll out today from Dallas/Ft. Worth to São Paulo.
According to Delta, its international premium economy seats will have up to 38 inches of pitch, along with leg rests and the ability to recline up to 7 inches. The seats will also be up to 19 inches wide.
The premium economy service will also come with pre-departure beverage service, a Westin Heavenly brand blanket pillow and TUMI brand amenity kit. It will also include access to Sky Priority lines for check-in and security, as well as priority boarding.
Delta Premium will also allow the Atlanta-based carrier to be on a level with its international partners, Virgin Atlantic and Air France, which already offer premium economy class. Other major players such as Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines offer similar premium economy products.
Back in May 1992, Virgin Atlantic launched the Mid Class, the first airline to offer an upgraded economy service for full-fare economy passengers. The product was subsequently rebranded as Premium Economy in November 1994.
The new Delta Airbus A350-900s will feature 48 Delta Premium seats, as well as 32 Delta One suites and 226 Main Cabin seats.
Delta also revealed that its 777 fleet will also be retrofitted with both Delta Premium and Delta One products, starting in 2018.