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Following a recent trend of carriers adding premium economy cabins to long-haul aircraft — a process American Airlines recently began — Iberia just announced that it’s going to begin offering the new cabin on most of its long-haul planes beginning in summer 2017. The new premium economy cabins will be available on the airline’s A330 and A340-600 aircraft, which also feature a business-class cabin with flat-bed seats, in addition to regular economy.
Check out Iberia’s video, detailing its new premium economy cabin:
The premium economy seats will come in a staggered 2-3-2 configuration. Each seat will have 7 inches of recline, 18.9 inches of width and 37 inches of pitch.
The seat-back in-flight entertainment screens will each be 12 inches. With each seat, there will also be a universal power adapter and a USB port to recharge while flying.
Each seat will also come with an adjustable footrest, a definite step up from many standard economy seats. In addition, passengers will also receive a set of noise-canceling headphones for the trip, as well as a premium economy amenity kit.
The 2-3-2 configuration makes for a more spacious cabin for those sitting in premium economy. With Iberia’s long-haul fleet, which will be equipped with this premium economy cabin, there will also be Wi-Fi service.
Overall, this is a good move for Iberia. The airline is a member of the Oneworld alliance, as well as a member of a transatlantic joint venture with American Airlines, British Airways and Finnair, and with the addition of American’s and Iberia’s premium economy cabins, BA is no longer the only member of the partnership with a premium economy cabin. (Finnair has yet to add a the same class of service.)
Unfortunately, this addition comes at a cost — Iberia will be reducing the number of seats in its business-class cabin in order to accommodate the new premium economy seats. The A330-300 will get 21 premium economy seats and lose seven business-class seats in the process, and the A340-600 will get 23 premium economy seats and lose 10 seats in business class. The fewer seats could potentially mean less award availability, but that is yet to be seen, as pricing and award options for premium economy have yet to be announced.
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