The new premium economy Class will supplement its existing economy, business and first classes of travel and chief commercial officer, Tamur Goudarzi Pour, expects to see passengers moving up from economy than down from business.
“Our new premium economy class is tailor-made for our previous economy class customers who are looking to enhance their air travel experience and enjoy the benefits associated with higher travel classes. In international comparison terms, our SWISS premium economy class is very clearly positioned as a top travel product,” he says.
The new 24-seat cabin, arranged in a slightly staggered 2-4-2 arrangement, will offer the airline’s long-haul travellers with greater privacy and enhanced inflight comfort than currently offered in economy, a major contributor to which will be a newly developed fixed-backshell seat from seat manufacturer ZIM. The simple to recline seat is integrated into a fixed backshell to ensure zero intrusion into the personal space of the passenger behind, offering a more comfortable travel environment.
The new seat is wider than the economy Class offering on the 777-300ER: between 46 and 48 centimetres, compared to 43.4 centimetres, and seat pitch has been extended from the 78.7 centimetres in economy to 99 centimetres. The premium economy seat further features a greater recline, and is additionally equipped with a fold-out leg rest.
To add to their on-board comfort, SWISS premium economy travellers will be issued with a complimentary amenity kit that is specifically manufactured using sustainable materials. They will also receive their own high-quality noise-reducing headphones that will further enhance the film or the music experience offered via the seat’s 15.6-inch inflight entertainment monitor. Personal reading lamps will provide suitable lighting on night-flight services; and electronic devices can be charged using the seat’s in-built USB-A socket.
Premium economy customers will also be offered a wide range of inflight cuisine, along with double the economy class registered baggage allowance and priority boarding, features that will be appreciated by corporates currently restricted with travel policies and the faster recovering leisure travel segment.
“We are delighted that, in introducing our new premium economy class, we are meeting our customers’ growing demand for more privacy, more comfort and more individuality, and by introducing our new class of travel, we are also further strengthening our premium positioning in the growing leisure travel segment,” says SWISS CEO Dieter Vranckx.
The inflight offering will see travellers offered an elderberry welcome drink, and will be able to choose from three hot meals all served on china tableware. The selection here will include a dish from the award-winning ‘SWISS Taste of Switzerland’ inflight culinary programme, together with a vegetarian option supplied by Hiltl, the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant.
Meanwhile, premium economy customers will be permitted carriage of two bags of up to 23 kilograms each. They can also take advantage of reduced-rate access to the SWISS business lounges at Zurich and Geneva airports and the SWISS arrival Lounge at Zurich Airport.
The new cabins will gradually be installed aboard all 12 of SWISS’s long-haul Boeing 777-300ERs and according to SWISS will be priced around CHF 250 to CHF350 higher than its Economy equivalent. Destinations currently served by SWISS with this aircraft type include Bangkok, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami, San Francisco, São Paulo and Singapore.
SWISS says that depending on the further development of the present pandemic, the new premium economy cabin “may also be established sooner as a standard product on some of these routes”. Until the formal launch and during the introductory phase, upgrade options will be offered “for a fee, subject to availability,” says the airline.